MNsure and Health Insurance Basics

In late 2015, NAMI Minnesota received another MNsure grant to help people with mental illnesses and their family members obtain health insurance. In addition, NAMI Minnesota is working to educate individuals on how insurance works and how to utilize the benefits offered.  Two fact sheets on health insurance basics have been written, are on our website, and can be sent on request. Presentations are also being offered. Here are some health insurance terms that you or your clients will learn with these fact sheets and at these presentations:

Premium – Monthly amount paid for health insurance plan. This amount must be paid whether or not you actually use your health insurance.

Deductible – Amount you pay out of pocket for health care services before your health insurance starts to kick in. (For example, with a $1000 health care bill and a deductible of $500, you would pay $500 before your health insurance begins to pay.)

Co-Payment – Fixed amount you pay the day of service. This amount can vary by type of covered service. For example, you might pay a $35 co-pay for prescriptions and $25 for primary primary doctor’s visits.

NAMI Minnesota is also working to educate people on the differences between primary and emergency care, and what typically happens when you go to each type of provider. The hope is that people will be more informed of their health care options and feel ownership of the health care choices they make.

To sign up through MNsure, if you would like a presentation on health insurance basics, or if you would like to request copies of the health insurance basics fact sheets, please contact NAMI Minnesota’s MNsure Project Coordinator, Dara Larson, at [email protected], or call 651-645-2948, ext. 117.

Dara Larson, Esq. is a certified MNsure navigator and licensed attorney at NAMI Minnesota. She is currently NAMI's MNsure Project Coordinator and Helpline Coordinator. She has personally helped hundreds of people enroll in health insurance through the marketplace since 2013, in addition to providing outreach at many MNsure presentations and booths throughout the state. She also coordinates NAMI's helpline, answering thousands of calls each year to provide assistance to people living with mental illnesses and their family members. 

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