MNsure sees insurance sign-ups jump during pandemic

MNsure , Minnesota's health insurance marketplace, has seen a lot of activity in the last three months.

A total of 99,688 Minnesotans visited and enrolled in private health insurance through a special enrollment period (SEP) or received eligibility for a public assistance program (Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare) since March 1.

As health leaders expected, sign-ups across all programs have been driven by concerns amid the pandemic.

"It’s never been more important to know you’re covered. That’s why we are so glad to have been able to help almost 100,000 Minnesotans gain access to comprehensive health care coverage," said CEO Nate Clark. "But we know there are others out there who are currently uninsured and may qualify to sign up. If you’ve recently lost your employer-sponsored health insurance , had an income change , or have another qualifying life event , come to to see if you’re eligible."

In addition to the enrollment opportunities that are available year-round, MNsure also introduced two new SEPs that provided expanded enrollment opportunities for Minnesotans during the pandemic.


The first was a COVID-19 SEP for uninsured Minnesotans that opened on March 23 and ran for 30 days, closing on April 21. During that period, more than 9,400 Minnesotans enrolled in private health insurance through MNsure.

Additionally, MNsure also announced another enrollment opportunity after the close of the COVID-19 SEP. This new SEP is for Minnesotans who are enrolled in health insurance outside of MNsure , but experienced a decrease in income such that they are now eligible for advanced premium tax credits .

More than 16,500 Minnesotans have enrolled in private health coverage between March 1 and June 16, which is over 8,000 more than had enrolled in private plans during the same time period last year.

Current enrollment opportunities:

All four medical insurance companies that sell private health insurance plans through MNsure are waiving co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing, and cost sharing for in-network COVID-19 hospitalization . Additionally, the Minnesota Department of Human Services has removed any cost-sharing for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 for all Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare members.

Help is available:

  • MNsure has a statewide network of expert assisters who can help Minnesotans apply and enroll over the phone, free of charge.

  • MNsure's online help tools can be used to access frequently requested services.

  • The MNsure Contact Center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, at 651-539-2099 or 855-366-7873.

By the numbers

March 1 - June 16, 2020

  • Private health plan sign-ups: 16,506

  • Public program applicants through MNsure: 83,182*

  • Total accessing coverage: 99,688

  • Call volume: 88,842

  • sessions: 1,847,804

  • Plan comparison tool sessions: 235,648

*Certain individuals cannot apply through MNsure to obtain Medical Assistance (MA) coverage. These primarily are individuals who are age 65 and older, blind or who have a disability. They must complete a paper application and submit it to their county.


Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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