Minnesota Department of Health Insurance Outreach & Application Assistance

Having health coverage means having peace of mind and the security of knowing you will not incur financial hardship due to illness. It is a means to make sure you are well and stay well.

As a member of Insure Duluth, a group of area organizations strategically working to get people insured, Community Action Duluth is proud to announce the introduction and availability of MNSURE Navigators.  Navigators are trained to help people use MNSURE and understand the products offered through it. It is best to shop for health insurance using a Navigator! MNSURE and Navigators are a result of legislation called the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) goals were to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance by lowering the uninsured rate and by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reducing the costs of healthcare for individuals. The ACA provides:

  • No exclusion for pre-existing conditions
  • No denial of coverage
  • No annual or lifetime benefit limits
  • Health plans with essential health benefits

MNSURE is a new marketplace where Minnesotans can find, compare, choose and get quality health care coverage that best fits their needs and budget.  MNSURE is the one place to find out if you qualify for a low-cost or free plan. 

The MNSURE Marketplace offers the following programs; the free and low-cost options are income based.  Your household status and tax filing status affect your outcome.  Think of MNSURE as an on-line store that offers the following programs:

  • Medical Assistance for adults at zero cost per month
  • Medical Assistance for children ages 0 to 18 and pregnant women at $0 cost per month
  • MinnesotaCare for adults at $0 to $50 per month per adult
  • Private Insurance coverage paid for with Advanced Premium Tax Credits and/or Cost Sharing reductions
  • Private Insurance without Advanced Premium Tax Credits and Cost Sharing Reductions

The plan you choose affects the total amount you’ll likely spend for health benefits during the year.

Minnesota Health Care Programs

If you qualify for Medical Assistance (MA), which has lower limits for eligibility, you will pay no monthly premium.  With the exception of very small co-pays, which are between $1.00 and $3.00, the program is completely free.  Medical Assistance will also pay medical bills incurred in the three months prior to applying!  MinnesotaCare (MNCare), which has higher limits for eligibility, has a sliding scale monthly premium, so the cost will fit your budget.  Like MA, MNCare has very low co-pays – most at or around $3.00.  Most providers accept the plans offered through MA and MNCare.  Public Health Care Program services include, but are not limited to:

  • Alcohol and Drug treatment
  • Chiropractic care
  • Dental care (limited for non-pregnant adults)
  • Doctor/Clinic visits
  • Emergency room care (ER)
  • Eyeglasses
  • Family Planning Services
  • Hearing Aids
  • Home care
  • Hospital services
  • Immunizations and vaccines
  • Interpreter services
  • Lab and X-Ray
  • Licensed birth center services
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Medical transportation (access, ambulance and special)
  • Mental Health care
  • Nursing homes and ICF-DD facilities
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Prescriptions and Medication Therapy Management
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Urgent care

If you do not qualify for Medical Assistance, or MinnesotaCare, you may qualify for:

Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) is a new tax credit to help individuals afford health coverage purchased only through the MNSURE Marketplace.  If you qualify, your APTC can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs.  You may choose how much of the APTC you wish to apply to your insurance premiums every month, up to the maximum APTC you are awarded.  If the amount of APTC you get for the year is less than the tax credit you are due, you will get a difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return.  If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return (also called premium tax credit).

Cost Sharing Reduction is a discount that lowers the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket for deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.  You can get this reduction if you get health insurance through the MNSURE Marketplace, your income is below a certain level, and you choose a health plan from the Silver plan category.

If you are a member of a federally recognized tribe, you may qualify for additional cost sharing benefits.

Our Navigators are here to assist you individually by answering your questions, assisting you with your on-line application, with follow-up, and with renewals.  All Navigator assistance is free of charge.  When coming to an appointment for enrollment, bring the following with you:

  • Household Income:  Know your household income for the coming year.  (A household is everyone who files taxes together.)  Your best estimate of household’s gross (before taxes) two week, monthly, or annual income from all sources will suffice. Bring last year's Federal 1040 tax form if you have it.
  • Social Security Numbers: You’ll need to enter the Social Security numbers (or document numbers for documented immigrants) for anyone applying for coverage.
  • Employer Coverage Information: Know If your employer (or an employer of your spouse) offers health coverage for you or your family and what the premium cost is to you for individual coverage, even if you don’t accept it.

We offer MNSURE presentations to small or large groups and we will table your events.

Contact us to get started:

Noland Makowsky, at 217-726-1665 x 33 or noland@communityactionduluth.org
Karen Walter, at 218-726-1665 x 46 or karen@communityactionduluth.org