Workshops aim to demystify MNsure
If you don’t have insurance, it’s time to get going. Starting next year, the federal government will fine people who don’t have health coverage. To help people wade through the new program, Dakota County will host a series of workshops at all the library branches.
The Robert Trail Library will host a workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 4. Dakota County Director of Employment and Economic Assistance Ruth Krueger said the workshops provide a brief orientation on MNsure and then help people get started.
MNsure is an insurance marketplace. Through MNsure people can compare plans and chose affordable insurance coverage through private insurers. There are 54 plans available on the site. Open enrollment for individuals and families runs through March 31, 2014.
MNsure was created in response to passage of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA requires all Americans have health insurance or be fined by 2014. Enrollment is open now for policies starting in January.
Krueger said the county will host two workshops at each of the library branches over the course of the next several months with the exception of the Farmington branch, which will be undergoing renovations this winter.
Certified counselors will help attendees set up MNsure accounts. Krueger said it’s a particular system and many people have questions when going through it. She said if time allows they will also discuss how to choose the right health plan.
Krueger said MNsure is for the uninsured. Those on medical assistance, Medicare and Minnesota Care should not sign up through the exchange.
People attending the workshops need to bring some information with them, including the names and dates of birth for all household members, social security numbers or document numbers for legal immigrants for all members of the household, income information including tax forms and pay stubs and information on any employee-sponsored insurance available to the particular party.
By and large, Krueger said employee-sponsored insurance plans will meet the ACA requirements but she said some do not and they can help people determine if they are eligible for MNsure coverage.
Krueger said the workshops have been set up so people can attend them after work. Registration is highly recommended as the workshops have been well attended. To sign up for the Robert Trail Library workshop call 651-480-1200.