Tracker Pixel for Entry

​A year of MNsure

Wellness | November 12th, 2014

Open enrollment begins again Nov. 15

Minnesotans know that MNsure wasn’t perfect when it was enacted last October. There was a media bombardment attacking its website issues, long wait time, data breaches, limitations on plans, fraud, administrative scandals, etc. Today, however, the program has smoothed over the rough patches.

At the Family Service Center of Clay County in Moorhead, there are nine trained assisters through a group called Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership. There is also one navigator, Lynn Isaacson, and she is the only employee taking full-time appointments. She’s basically the office MNsure pro. In October, she met with 106 individuals regarding MNsure and that’s been the average number of people she has seen every month since the program’s inception.

“Sometimes, at the end of the day, I can’t even remember who I saw at 8 o’clock,” Isaacson said.

Isaacson and her supervisor, Rebecca Johnson, have been very pleased with the program’s improvements over the past few months and anticipate more positive changes to come. The state program has gone from 30 call assisters on staff to 300, so MNsure is growing stronger while creating jobs. Administrators also gathered consumer and staff feedback over the summer to benefit this year’s open enrollment process.

There are three types of plans available through the assistance of MNsure. The first two are public assistance kind of programs, Medical Assistance (MA) or Medicaid – this is generally for people with lower incomes or fall under the federal poverty line (around $12,000 a year). The next one is Minnesotacare for people with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or upwards of $23,000 a year. Those two forms of assistance are available year-round. The special enrollment period refers to the third tier of assistance for families or individuals seeking a Quality Health Plan (or QHP) and is the plan that gets politicized the most.

QHP enrollment is from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15, and plans can begin from Jan. 1 to March 1. Last year the open enrollment deadline was pushed back to April due to confusion and procrastination. Isaacson feels confident that enrollment dates won’t be extended like they were last year. The MNsure staff through Lakes and Prairies have been making efforts to remind the community of the upcoming deadlines.

“Lakes and Prairies is granted to do community outreach to remind people about open enrollment dates … There are also grantees throughout the state of Minnesota that do it locally in their communities,” Johnson noted. If someone qualified for open enrollment last year, then they will receive a notice in the mail letting them know it’s time to renew their plans or leave them as is.

Comparing the negatives and positives of the program and the overall work, Isaacson and Johnson both agreed that the positives outweigh the negatives. They are overwhelmed everyday by the positive impact medical assistance has on families and individuals in need.

“I remember a middle-aged couple with kids, leaving with tears in their eyes because they had significant health problems and prior to getting insurance here they were paying a lot for a very high deductible plan because they had a preexisting condition …

“They were bracing themselves for a very high payment because they heard that MNsure had really expensive plans and they thought it was going to be terrible and they ended up saving $700 a month plus had a much lower deductible … It was just incredible. It was literally a life-saving thing for them.”

As far as homeless people in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Isaacson said, “The shelters are booked and they’re sometimes turning people away. The bright side is that those people who are trying to get their lives back together, there are a lot of pieces involved in that, but being able to go to the doctor is important.”

After helping many Somali families, refugees from Iraq, Kurdish families and others new to the area, Isaacson has developed a desire to learn different languages. Though, interpreters are available through the Cultural Diversity Center in Fargo. MNsure also has a language line so that a navigator can connect families to a translator.

Things to know:

- Apply at www.mnsure.org from 6 a.m. to midnight anyday.

- There are no income qualifications to apply for MNsure.

- Be sure to remember your username and password.

- Read the tips for completion and other useful resources on the website.

- Use recommended browsers and clear browser history once in a while.

- Don’t attempt to complete on a tablet or a smartphone.

- Save as you go so that you don’t lose information.

- Call a navigator if you have a question.

- Set up an appointment with a navigator if you have a lot of questions.

- Call MNsure (1-855-366-7873) or Clay County Social Services (218-299-5200) to check on status or for questions.

- Don’t get too frustrated.

- Don’t procrastinate.

- Keep calm and MNsure on!





Recently in:

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comJason Sole may have an impressive resume as a Criminal Justice professor, past president of the Minneapolis NAACP, founder of movements and initiatives, national restorative justice trainer, author,…

By Michael M. Miller  michael.miller@ndsu.eduGermans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo,…

Sons of Norway, Kringen Lodge #4-25, is a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norwegian culture.Sentrum på 722 2nd Ave N, FargoKringen Kafe er åpen for Kaffe og Bakverk mandag-fredag 9.00 til…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: Let our character and characters define usIt’s no secret that North Dakota is one of our nation’s least visited states, in fact I can think of a handful of folks I’ve chatted…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com Good or Bad Sex Ends Up Controlling and Winning the Numbers GameSex Bio-ethnics Professor Katie Watson says a woman who regularly has sex once a week or more during her reproductive years will…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com“If you had talked to me five years ago or even a year ago and told me I was gonna be a chef in Fargo I probably would have looked at you pretty funny. It's wild where food is taking me in…

By Sabrina Hornung and Jr Lacroixsabrina@hpr1.comMinneapolis-based rapper Prof has undergone a number of changes within a short amount of time. Abruptly dropped from the Rhymesayers label, he went on to release his latest album…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comMaureen Bharoocha’s “Golden Arm” applies the irresistible combination of long-haul trucking and competitive arm wrestling in the tradition of Menahem Golan’s 1987 Sylvester Stallone cult…

By Sarah Noursacha1689.sc@gmail.comOn Sunday, November 7th, the Spirit Room will hold a reception for “Contaminated Nightmares,” their current exhibition of mixed-media pieces by local artist and musician Adam Bursack. This…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…