The Star Tribune reported last week on the problems MNsure is having with the re-enrollment process for thousands of people on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare. More specifically, a number of the Land Stewardship Project's farmer-members received health plan disenrollment notices and healthcare closing notices despite turning in enrollment paperwork on time. These notices were received over the Christmas holiday, announcing incorrectly in many cases that coverage was to end on Dec. 31. This caused undue stress for people during a busy time of the year.
More importantly, it’s unconscionable to place seriously ill people in a panic, thinking their health insurance has ended. As of this writing, there has still been no direct correspondence from the Department of Human Services informing MinnesotaCare members about the mistake or how to get healthcare coverage.
For people who received termination notices, this is what we know: the Department of Human Services extended the deadline for processing re-enrollment forms until Wednesday, Jan. 20. In the meantime, healthcare coverage for all previous MinnesotaCare enrollees is extended until Sunday, Jan. 31. Coverage is being offered through the state until re-enrollment is completed.
One way MinnesotaCare members can get treatment is to use their Minnesota Health Care Program (MHCP) card and member number. The member number can also be found on correspondence from MinnesotaCare, listed as the "Recipient ID." This is a fee-for-service system in which the Department of Human Services is billed directly for provider care, prescriptions, etc. To get additional information, try the MinnesotaCare Call Center number at 651-297-3862. You can also call the Minnesota Health Care Programs Member Help Desk at 651-431-2670 or 1-800-657-3739.
Be aware that wait times can be up to 40 minutes long, and it may be more efficient to reach out directly to a navigator. You can find one in your area on the MNsure website. LSP healthcare organizers Paul Sobocinski (507-430-1509) and Heidi Morlock (952-737-8118) are also available to provide guidance.
LSP is committed to making MinnesotaCare accountable and workable for all Minnesotans who qualify. This current enrollment nightmare shows the urgent need for a system in which every Minnesotan gets coverage without the threat of disenrollment based on income, paperwork or technological glitches. Join us as we work with allies across the state demanding healthcare for everyone, no exceptions.
Land Stewardship Project organizers Heidi Morlock and Paul Sobocinski work on healthcare issues. For more information on LSP's Affordable Healthcare for All initiative and how to get involved, click here.