Local Volunteer Reports on Rice County MNsure Participation


As the program was gearing up last fall, several people in Rice County volunteered to become trained certified Navigators to help people through the process of enrolling in MNsure, the Minnesota version of the Affordable Care Act. Northfielder Joan Janusz is one of those volunteers and is providing this report on the work done in Rice County. She also explains how continuing enrollment is available to certain people between the March 31 end of the previous enrollment period and the next period in November

Three participating organizations facilitated MNsure enrollments:  Community Action Center of Northfield; Three Rivers Community Actionin Faribault; and Health Finders in Northfield and Faribault.  1078 individuals were reached through 38 outreach events across Rice County by Health Finders and an estimated 485 families and individuals were assisted to successfully enroll in Medical Assistance, Minnesota Care, or a Qualified Health Plan by the combined three agencies.  Some of the Navigators were staff of the organizations and some were community volunteers. In addition to Navigators, a number of Insurance Brokers were certified to assist people to choose health plans.  It is not known how many total people in Rice County enrolled through MNsure—those statistics are not available at this time; suffice it to say that many of us have heard from friends, neighbors, and relatives that enrollment for health care through MNsure has been a tremendous help. 

Behind each of these numbers is a real person with a real story. Many had been putting off seeing a Doctor because they had no way to pay; some needed surgery and now will have a way for that to happen.  All will now have peace of mind knowing they can seek health care when they need it. 

Although the March 31 enrollment period has ended, MNsure is continuing enrollment for these people:

•    Those eligible for Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care—they can enroll year round:  at the present time income for a single person approximately at or below $22,980—for a family of four, income at or below $47,100.

•    People who completed an Enrollment Attempt Form just prior to March 31; their enrollments are still being considered.

•    Those who experience a “Qualifying Life Event”:  This could occur if a person already enrolled in MNsure needs to change their health plan because of something like a move to a different location or marriage, birth, or adoption for example.  It also would cover someone who hasn’t previously enrolled in MNsure who has a change in their life circumstance:  any eligible person who finds themselves without health care coverage such as loss of job and thus affordable insurance or many other circumstances. The Special Enrollment Period begins on the date the Qualifying Life Event takes place (regardless of when you report it to MNsure) and ends 60 calendar days later.  Call the MNsure Contact Center 1-855-366-7873 with questions. 

For additional information about MNsure: https://www.mnsure.org/.