Nearly 670,000 Minnesotans have applied for unemployment insurance since March 16, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development. And many of those people have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage or are no longer able to afford their private insurance.
Nate Clark, chief executive officer of MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange, said job or income loss qualify as life events that allow people to sign up for coverage outside of the regular enrollment period.
He said, through the state’s exchange, they may be eligible for assistance paying their premium or public health benefits, such as Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare. But they must apply within 60 days of their job change.
Clark recommended going to the exchange’s website, but said you can also apply by phone and connect with a navigator who will walk you through the process.
During a special enrollment period last month to get more Minnesotans insured before the COVID-19 outbreak, 9,500 people signed up for private insurance plans and another 13,000 qualified for public benefits, Clark said.
“The systems are doing very well and we’re really confident in our ability to help Minnesotans connect with the coverage they need,” he told MPR News host Tom Crann.
Hear their full conversation using the audio player above.