Reader’s view: MNsure website is working, and deadline is approachingMNsure, Minnesota’s state health care exchange, opened Oct. 1. Initial glitches have been addressed, and the site is now functionally enrolling consumers in health care plans.
By: Dung Ngoc Pham, Duluth News Tribune
MNsure, Minnesota’s state health care exchange, opened Oct. 1. Initial glitches have been addressed, and the site is now functionally enrolling consumers in health care plans.
MNsure’s open-enrollment period is a golden opportunity for Minnesotans to sign up for the proper health care coverage.
Open enrollment for 2014 extends to March 31. The exchange can be accessed at mnsure.org. There, consumers can click on prompts relevant to them in order to enroll. Before selecting a plan through the exchange, Minnesotans should do careful research. Once enrolled, plans cannot be switched until the next enrollment period, which begins Oct. 7.
People interested in having a live person assist with their enrollment or answer questions can consult navigators, also referred to as assisters or brokers. Navigators are tasked with providing guidance to consumers and helping them enroll in plans that are affordable and that furnish them with appropriate coverage. Navigators are a great resource available at no cost to Minnesotans as they research MNsure options. Navigators can be found by selecting “find an assister/
broker” link at the MNsure website. Or contact MNsure toll free at (855) 366-7873.
Whether or not consumers consult navigators, they should have answers to these questions before committing to a plan: Are my doctors and my hospital on this plan? Will my prescription drugs be covered? If so, what will the cost of these drugs be? What will my deductible be?
In order to avoid being penalized for not having health insurance, Minnesotans need to be enrolled in a plan by March 15. That leaves plenty of time to compare plans and seek guidance from navigators about options. Choosing the appropriate health care plan is vitally important for a healthy future.
Dung Ngoc Pham
St. Paul, Minn.
The writer is from Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota.