MNsure awards outreach grants to groups that serve minorities

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — With the next open enrollment period just over two months away, the Minnesota's online health exchange is gearing up by asking a diverse group of organizations to help Minnesotans find insurance.

MNsure officials on Tuesday announced $4.6 million in outreach grants to 28 organizations statewide.

About a third of the money will go to organizations serving racial and ethnic communities who face language or other barriers to finding insurance, Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1qxxD9i) reported.

People are more likely to enroll if they have free help, MNsure CEO Scott Leitz said. Open enrollment for next year begins Nov. 15.

"We've enrolled over 300,000 Minnesotans in coverage and we know that the (uninsured) rate has been reduced by over 40 percent so we know progress has been made," Leitz said. "What we also know from work that the state health department has done and others is there still remain large disparities in terms of access to health insurance coverage."

Organizations that receive MNsure grants have been asked to focus on hard-to-reach populations and address health disparities, Leitz said.

Last year, MNsure was criticized for its initial round of outreach grants due to a lack of diversity among the recipients. Leitz said this year's outreach will be better coordinated and more comprehensive.


Online:

MNsure: http://www.mnsure.org


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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