Unsure about MNsure? Duluth coalition offers free assistance

By KBJR News 1

November 12, 2013 Updated Nov 12, 2013 at 10:44 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - With the new Minnesota Health Insurance Marketplace, MNsure, up and running, organizations across Duluth are opening their doors to offer free healthcare advice.

When MNSure, the state's first health insurance marketplace rolled out in October, people had questions.

"My first question was am I going to be able to afford healthcare for my family."

For small business owner, Stacy Pohjola, the questions outnumbered the answers when it came to the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

"I was very nervous initially, as to what the cost was going to be, being that I'm a small business owner and my husband also owns a small business," said Pohjala.

To help calm those nerves, a coalition called insureDULUTH was created to help navigate people through what some fear is a complicated process.

Layla Lang, a certified navigator with the program, says she's been hearing many misconceptions about MNsure and how it works.

"A lot of people think that MNsure is the actual insurance carrier. MNsure is simply the device used to go out and shop. It's very similar to a Travelocity website," said Layla Lang, insureDULUTH navigator.

To clear up those misconceptions, navigators will walk applicants like Pohjola step-by-step through the MNsure process and even get people enrolled with quality coverage.

"It's very important to stress, going in and setting up an account and walking through the application process, knowing they're not locked into anything, they don't want to get. It's simply getting information for them so they can make a decision about what's best for them and their family for their healthcare," said Lang.

With navigators available at 16 organizations across Duluth, including the Duluth Public Library, organizers say chances are there's assistance available in your neighborhood.

"If you're struggling on the website yourself, don't get frustrated call somebody for help. They will help you and it will alleviate a lot of stress and misunderstanding," said Lang.

A coalition of helping hands that could take the pain out of finding quality Minnesota health care coverage.

For more information on the coalition InsureDULUTH or to find your nearest navigator click here.

Jeremy Brickley
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