• Ellamae Arbuzinski

MNSure and SNAP Sign-Up

Updated: Mar 22


Over the past year due to the pandemic and associated economic challenges, we have seen an increased need for social support networks. Many people have found themselves struggling to cover their basic necessities like rent, food, and healthcare costs. Covid-19 has shown how essential it is to have medical insurance when your health can turn at any moment. The economic downturn has led many to experience food insecurity, especially those already struggling with poverty. Community Action Duluth has highly trained specialists to connect you to the benefits you need in this trying time.


CAD offers MNSure Navigators to help you apply for health insurance, as it can be a complicated and arduous process. Many people can struggle with how lengthy and detailed the application is, and answering one question wrong can delay the process even further. Some also experience issues with their technology which presents a barrier to their attaining healthcare coverage. MNSure Navigators go through extensive training in how to fill out the applications, comply with data security, and HIPAA procedure. There are also Benefit Outreach Specialists who assist in applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Due to the pandemic, almost all appointments are held virtually. Our specialists have helped connect many people to these resources. In a previous year, we had enrolled over 1,000 people in health insurance and almost 50 people for SNAP benefits.



Our specialists are not just here to get you started on the process of applying for SNAP benefits or health insurance. They are also here to answer any questions you may have after your coverage and benefits have started. It is vitally important to report changes in income to the state when you are on SNAP, and Benefits Outreach Specialists can help you keep your information up to date. They also assist in trouble-shooting problems or barriers that may arise, as well as screening for any potential changes that could affect your health insurance coverage. MNSure programs are meant to adapt with your life, not restrict it. For example, a participant’s husband had been working with CAD to secure healthcare coverage for himself and his wife. Unfortunately, he passed away and his wife experienced difficult financial straits, so her coverage had to change. Our specialists helped her apply for a MinnesotaCare program which fit into her budget. They are also here to help you find out how to use your insurance to your advantage. Health insurance is complicated and at times intimidating to utilize, and our specialists walk you through how best to do so.



The specialists at CAD would also like you to know a few updates about healthcare coverage and new benefits. Through an executive order, President Biden extended the window of enrollment in coverage to three months, the application for which is at healthcare.gov. MNSure has established a similar timeframe for enrollment, from February 16 to May 17. Those who are eligible and enroll will have their coverage start the following month. Reach out to a Navigator at benefits@communityactionduluth.org to get started. Medical Assistance and MNCare can be enrolled into year round for those who meet the criteria, which Navigators can also help with. Our Benefits Outreach Specialists can also answer community members’ questions about signing up for Pandemic Electronic Benefits or P-EBT. This benefit is for families with children who receive or are eligible for free or reduced lunch while distance learning. If your children were home for most of the month for school, you can receive up to $130 per child or $75 for hybrid-learning children. Contact our specialists at benefits@communityactionduluth.org if you think you may qualify and are interested in applying. You can also call the office at (218)726-1665, with the extension 227 for healthcare coverage and 240 for information about benefits.


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