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MNsure CEO in Rochester to tout cheaper, more accessible plans

People can sign up for health insurance coverage through MNsure through Dec. 15.

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MNsure CEO Nate Clark, left, speaks at a public information session at Prime Time Health Advisors, 2048 Superior Drive, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022. Clark was in Rochester for a public information event to encourage people to sign up through free services to select and enroll for coverage through MNsure. Denise Reobertson, center, program director at Health Access MN, and Chris Martini, a broker with Rochester Senior Solutions, right, spoke about their roles to help people sign up.
John Molseed / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Minnesotans’ access to health insurance has gotten broader, and tax credits to help pay for it have gotten bigger.

MNsure CEO Nate Clark, who was in Rochester on Thursday, said increased and renewed tax credits means Southeast Minnesotans will save an estimated $860 per month on 2023 coverage through MNsure.

Clark encouraged people to sign up through free services to select and enroll for coverage through MNsure.

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More people are now eligible to buy private health insurance through MNSure, Minnesota's marketplace for personal health insurance plans. Federal and state legislation has closed a gap where people who are eligible for insurance through a family member’s employer can also buy an individual plan instead.

“This is a brand new thing and it’s going to affect a lot of people,” said Denise Robertson, program director at Health Access MN. Robertson provides no-cost service to help people find and sign up for insurance plans through MNsure.

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Robertson said federal and state legislation closed a gap in which people who have insurance coverage through an employer wouldn’t qualify for a private plan through MNsure. That exclusion meant some families had to choose between high premiums for adding dependents or going uninsured.

“Adding a spouse or dependents costs a lot of money,” Robertson said.

Clark said more than 75% of Minnesotans who aren’t insured would be eligible for a plan through MNsure or for low- to no-cost coverage through Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.

About 3.9% of Southeast Minnesotans are uninsured, according MNsure data.

Clark said he expects enrollment through MNsure to increase this year. Last year enrollment was up about 10%, he said.

Clark said people interested in exploring their eligibility for insurance through MNsure should contact MNsure certified “navigators” like Robertson or insurance brokers who offer free services.

Chris Martini, a broker with Rochester Senior Solutions, said his role is to interpret plans into plain, understandable language for people who enroll in insurance through MNsure.

“If it gets clunky, people step aside,” Martini said.

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Most of his clients are seniors who are retiring before they’re eligible for Medicare and young people who are no longer carried by their parents’ insurance.

Minnesotans who need health insurance can sign up through MNsure during the open enrollment period which began on Nov. 1, 2022, and will run through Jan. 15, 2023. People must enroll by Dec. 15, 2022, for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2023.

Related Topics: HEALTHBUSINESS
John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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