Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC)/Skinny Plans

Minimum essential coverage (MEC) plans have become synonymous with “skinny plans.” Yet virtually all employer-sponsored major medical plans satisfy the criteria for MEC under the ACA – not just skinny or limited medical plans. Most MEC plans are considered to provide minimum value under the ACA (i.e., at least a 60% actuarial value). However, in this issue brief, reference to “MEC plans” will refer to plans that do not provide minimum value. Although this latter category of MEC plans is more limited in the coverage provided, it is important to keep in mind that most group health plan statutes and regulations still apply to them in the same way as they do to more robust major medical plans.

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