Health Insurance in MN

Why should I get health insurance?
It’s legally required and you can’t be denied! Click here to learn more about the law.

Where can I sign-up for/enroll in a health insurance plan?
If you’d like to apply for free or discounted health insurance, you must apply on

If you do not want to apply for free or discounted health insurance, you can apply on or directly through a health insurance company.

MNsure is a website that’s run by the state of Minnesota to help people shop and sign up for health insurance. You can find health insurance plans from most all the major “private” health insurance companies in this one place (e.g. BlueCross and BlueShield; HealthPartners; Medica; UCare). For more info about MNsure, feel free to ask us and check out our short video series.

What are the types of free and reduced-cost health insurance on
1. Medical Assistance (Medicaid) or MinnesotaCare. Because the government runs these insurance programs, they are referred to as “public” health insurance programs.
2. Tax Credit. If you don’t qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, you may still qualify for a discount on the cost of a health insurance plan that you select on Make sure to read carefully about how the tax credit works (it’s tricky!) and don’t be afraid to ask us questions.

Eligibility depends on your family’s* size, combined income, ages and disabilities of family members. However, if you already have the option to get group insurance through an employer, it’s possible it could disqualify you from MinnesotaCare or a Tax Credit. This chart lists the income guidelines for the free and discounted health insurance programs. If your eligibility should change after you sign-up (because of a change in income, new family member, et. al), make sure to report this to MNsure immediately. They can work with you to get you in a new health insurance plan, if needed. *Your “family” is also called your “household.”

When can I sign-up for insurance/enroll for the first time?
If you submit the MNsure application and you qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, you can sign-up at anytime. Enrollment in these public health insurance programs is open year-round.

If you don’t qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, you’ll need to sign up for a plan during “open enrollment.” Open enrollment is currently closed, and will not happen again until Fall 2016 (for insurance coverage that starts in 2017). However, if you’ve had a “life change” (e.g. loss of employer health insurance coverage, new addition to your household, et. al.) or are an American Indian, you may be able to sign-up earlier. Click here for more details.

What’s the MNsure application process like?
MNsure uses one, online application to determine eligibility for all of the free or reduced cost health insurance programs. Once you submit the application and find out what you qualify for, you still have to pick a plan and pay your first month’s premium to complete your sign-up/enrollment in health insurance. An exception to this is free health insurance through Medical Assistance. If you don’t have to pay a premium for your health insurance through Medical Assistance, it’s possible you may be automatically enrolled and sent an insurance membership card without any further steps. Please click here for more information or to ask us questions.

Who can help me sign up?
Springboard for the Arts can help, and it’s free! We’re available if you just have a question or would like to sit down to better understand all of this. We’re a certified MNsure Navigator so we can help you fill out the MNsure application to determine your options. But we CANNOT offer you advice on which plan to choose. Only Health Insurance Brokers can offer advice on which health insurance plan is the best for you. Working with a broker is also free and they can look at your options from many private insurance companies. Please see below for a list of Health Insurance Brokers.

You can also check out this calendar to find a health insurance info and enrollment event presented by organizations across Minnesota, including our partners at UCare and Crosstown Insurance!


Crosstown Insurance
Minnesota Health Coverage, Inc.
Dennis and Silvia Conger Insurance Agency
Andre Stephani: 612-599-8688

You may also use the “MNsure Assister Directory” to locate a broker near you.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

How can I learn more about how health insurance works?
The health insurance industry uses a lot of jargon to describe how insurance works. This includes terminology such as “co-pay,” “deductible,” and “premium.” It’s helpful to understand these terms so you can find the right plan for you and know how to use it.  Click here for a glossary of these terms, watch our video, or visit to learn more. If you’d like individualized help understanding these terms, or how your particular health insurance plan works, you may contact your insurance provider (check for a phone number on your membership ID Card) or talk to a health insurance broker (if applicable). Please see below for a list of Health Insurance Brokers and Health Insurance Companies.


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