HOT TOPIC: Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)

5 Reasons to Offer a Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) Health Plan

MEC is a low cost health plan that covers some 64 distinct preventive screenings and immunizations.

Is Minimum Essential Coverage right for your workforce? Here are five reasons to consider MEC health coverage:

1. MEC plans keep your workforce healthier

Preventable diseases, gone undetected, can turn into life-threatening illnesses. Heart disease and diabetes alone are responsible for nearly 70% of early deaths for Americans each year. The preventive screenings covered by MEC plans can detect conditions early. And, immunizations, which can prevent illnesses, are covered under our MEC plans. When employees receive the recommended screenings and immunizations, your workforce remains healthier and more productive.

2. Early detection lowers healthcare costs

Preventable conditions are responsible for 75% of healthcare spending in the United State annually.  They cause Americans to miss some $260 billion worth of work every year due to absenteeism and reduced productivity. Clearly, these illnesses put an extreme drain on the economy.

3. MEC provides tangible health benefits to your employees

Many of your employees are not getting their recommended health screenings as often as they should. Our MEC plans cover immunizations against serious diseases. They also cover screenings for diabetes, heart disease, skin cancer, colon cancer, and other serious conditions.

People who have the recommended screenings are far less likely to have complications stemming from smoking, a poor diet, or their corresponding illnesses. A healthier workforce means fewer sick days and more time on the job.

4. MEC satisfies the individual mandate

In some states, such as New Jersey, individuals pay a penalty on their income tax if they don’t have minimum essential healthcare coverage. MEC plans satisfy the healthcare requirement for individuals, saving them money.

5. MEC avoids the major ACA penalty for employers

Employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide minimum coverage to employees to avoid the larger ACA penalty, set at $2,500 for 2019. The IRS is enforcing the penalty, so for groups with at least 50 employees, it makes good financial sense to offer employees a MEC plan.

MagnaCare offers several low cost MEC plans for self-insured employers and Health Funds:

  • MagnaCare Basic MEC covers the 64 preventive screenings and immunizations required under the Affordable Care Act.
  • MagnaCare Enhanced MEC is a flexible plan where employers can add more of the coverage employees want, such as a set number of doctor, specialist, urgent care, and lab visits per year, as well as discount Rx. They can optionally add discount dental and vision.
  • MagnaCare Premier MEC – Our newest MEC plan includes ER and outpatient surgery coverage and expanded pharmacy coverage.

Advantages of our MEC plans to employers include a healthier workforce, faster back-to-work for employees who get sick, better morale, and increased employee retention.

Nicole Sweeney is your resource for everything MEC and will be happy to answer any questions you have about MEC plan. She can help you design a MEC plan that meets your needs. Please feel free to contact Nicole at 609.385.1963 or [email protected] with any questions or to help you design the right MEC plan for your clients.

Note: If you’d like to share this information with your clients, send them to this article on our blog.


Nicole Sweeney is your resource for everything MEC. Contact her at [email protected].