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MNsure to have special enrollment period

FAIRMONT — The coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected many people. Many not only faced unemployment but also loss of health insurance at a critical time.

President Biden has announced a nationwide special enrollment period for states that use healthcare.gov, the federally run health insurance marketplace. Minnesota’s marketplace, MNsure, is also opening a concurrent special enrollment period that will run through May 17.

Robin Thompson is the information and assistance director at Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging. A goal of MNRAAA is to support Minnesotans of all ages in their efforts to access quality, affordable health insurance.

Thompson said this is for any Minnesota resident without health insurance who is not enrolled in a qualifying health plan through MNsure.

Thompson stressed that people who are on Medicare or who are eligible for Medicare cannot and should not use this special enrollment period.

“This would be for someone who is not eligible for medicare. In the pandemic there were people in their early 60s who lost their jobs and are not eligible for Medicare yet with no insurance,” Thompson said.

Thompson said that quite a lot of people in the state were affected.

“They can not only get insurance in the Minnesota marketplace, but they can also see if they’re eligible for help obtained for the insurance,” Thompson said.

People who enroll through MNsure may also be eligible for help in paying their insurance premiums through tax credits. Some people may also qualify for additional help paying other out-of-pocket medical costs such as deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance.

Typically there are only certain times of the year you can enroll and if you miss it, you miss it. The only other time you can enroll is if you’re eligible for special enrollment due to a life-changing event.

Thompson said if somebody is interested, they should go to MNsure.org and create an account. There will then be an online application. They can also call the MNsure phone number at 651-539-2099. Once enrolled, the plan will take effect on the first of the next month.

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