Mental Health Minnesota Enters Second Year of MNsure Outreach

Over the last two years, MNsure has assisted in lowering the uninsured rate in Minnesota to a record low of 4%, which is much lower than in other states. For this next year, NAMI Minnesota is working to educate individuals on how insurance works and how to utilize the benefits offered.
 
Under the new grant, NAMI Minnesota is partnering with the following agencies to ensure statewide outreach: Mental Health Minnesota, Northern Pines Mental Health, Range Mental Health Center, Resource, Inc. and South Central Human Relations Center. As one of the partnering agencies, Mental Health Minnesota will be available at booths in different communities throughout the year to provide information on MNsure and refer people to a navigator who can answer questions and help people sign up for health insurance. In addition, NAMI Minnesota is working to ensure that people understand basic health insurance terms and how to use primary care and mental health care.
 
So why should people enroll in a health insurance plan through MNsure? MNsure offers multiple health plans from insurance companies all in one easy-to-shop location. Insurance through MNsure is very affordable, and tax credits and cost-sharing reductions are available for those who don’t qualify for public health insurance through Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. MNsure is the only place where an individual or family can obtain these tax credits to help pay for insurance premiums. An individual earning up to $47,080 per year or a family of four earning up to $97,000 will most likely qualify for a tax credit.

There are also benefits to people with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
  • All plans under MNsure must cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and must follow mental health parity laws. 
  • There are no exclusions or waiting periods for individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
  • Medical Assistance expansion allows eligibility based on income or disability.
  • MinnesotaCare no longer has waiting periods or a $10,000 cap on inpatient hospital services.
Open Enrollment goes from November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016. However individuals may apply and be eligible for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare throughout the year. In addition, people who are not eligible for public health insurance may obtain health insurance through MNsure if they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying life event.
 
NAMI Minnesota and most of its partner agencies have navigators who can help you or your loved one sign up through MNsure, or assist you with supplemental insurance if you are on Medicare or SSI. To sign up or if you have questions, please contact NAMI Minnesota’s MNsure Project Coordinator, Dara Larson, at dlarson@namimn.org, or call 651-645-2948, ext. 117.
 
Some people who enrolled in a health insurance plan for 2015 through MNsure received notice that their monthly premium for 2016 will increase to an amount that's unaffordable. It's likely that their tax credit amount will increase as well because of the premium increase. You can find out more here: www.mnsure.org/help/comparison-tools/index.jsp and click on Plan Comparison Tools. It will tell you if you're eligible for a tax credit and how much based upon the information you put in.
 
Also, people can contact a broker who is certified to give advice on choosing a plan through MNsure. Following is contact information for NAMI's partner broker agency:
 
Individual & Corporate Needs Agency, Inc.
651-778-1165
www.incagency.com

To find out more about MNsure, go to www.mnsure.org.