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MNsure enrollment assistance sessions scheduled in Pine River, Brainerd

To help lakes area residents enroll in MNsure, Essentia Health is partnering with Northern Pines Mental Health Center and Pine River-Backus Family Center to offer four free community enrollment sessions.

MNsure is Minnesota’s insurance exchange. The online marketplace was established as part of the federal Affordable Care Act to help provide affordable health insurance.

Receive help enrolling in MNsure by trained staff from Essentia Health, Northern Pines Mental Health Center and Pine River-Backus Family Center who will be available at these community events. To complete the online application process, you need the social security number and date of birth for anyone you will be applying for coverage, including children.

To register for one of the following free 60-minute appointments, call Essentia Health at 218-828-7414.

• Thursday, Dec. 12; Tuesday, Dec. 17; or Monday, Dec. 30, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd.

• Friday, Dec. 20, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Pine River-Backus Family Center, Pine River.

Five financial aid counselors with Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center and Clinics have been trained and certified as MNsure application counselors. They will work alongside MNsure navigators from Northern Pines Mental Health Center and Pine River-Backus Family Center to help applicants through the enrollment process, so you decide what plan is best for you and your family.

They can also help determine if you meet requirements for tax credits or for other programs such as Minnesota’s Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care.

Open enrollment for non-government programs for both individuals and families continues through March 31.

MNsure is open to any Minnesota resident or family who is uninsured, self-employed (a sole proprietor without full-time employees) or whose employer does not offer health insurance. If you currently receive insurance through your employer, you can stay with your employer’s plan or you can see if there’s a plan through MNsure that fits you better.

If your employer offers what is defined as an “affordable” plan, you won’t qualify for any payment assistance or tax credits through MNsure.

Starting in January, the Affordable Care Act requires most adults age 18 and older to have health insurance or pay a fine. If you are covered by Medicaid, MinnesotaCare, Medicare or an employer’s plan, you meet the requirement.

If you are not able to attend one of the free enrollment sessions, you can make an appointment for a more convenient time with Essentia Health’s financial aid counselors by calling 218-454-5905.

For more information, go to

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889