For Immediate Release:
SAINT PAUL, MN – Health reform has been headline news for months across the United States, and has generated questions among Minnesota consumers as they look at their health coverage needs during open enrollment. That is why the Minnesota Department of Commerce has a Consumer Response Team helpline and outreach efforts to help cut through the confusion and be a reliable source for important insurance information.
Some Minnesotans have received letters from their health insurance company, describing the consumer protections that are required beginning in 2014. Last week, Commissioner Rothman sent letters to the CEO’s of Minnesota’s health insurance companies urging them to redouble their consumer outreach efforts to these consumers to ensure that Minnesotans understand all of their health insurance options – through MNsure and the private marketplace. Consumers who have questions about continuing their health coverage can receive expert advice through the Commerce Department Consumer Response Team at 651-539-1600, or 1-800-657-3602 (MN only outside metro area).
Recently, it was also announced that the deadline to purchase health insurance that will begin on January 1, 2014, has been extended – from December 15 to December 23. Therefore, consumers now have an additional week to compare plans, costs, benefits, and make their decision. For coverage starting after January, MNsure has an extended open enrollment period through March 31, 2014.
“We want all Minnesota consumers to know that the Commerce Department is a trusted resource, able to answer questions about insurance and your policy,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “The Department is working proactively to provide up-to-date information on health reform in Minnesota on behalf of consumers to help with questions, clear any confusion, and get Minnesotans all of the facts they need to make the best health insurance coverage decision – fitting their financial and health needs.”
The Commerce Department implemented an outreach plan earlier this fall to answer questions and provide the facts about health reform in Minnesota. To date, the Department has worked with 6,904 individuals through a variety of events – direct service provider staff training events, weekly conference calls, neighborhood meetings, and a teletown hall – and will continue to provide up-to-date information regarding health reform. Additionally, the Commerce Department has a Consumer Response Team that is only one call away, ready and able to answer all insurance-related questions.
The Commerce Consumer Response Team’s Health Reform Most Frequently Asked Questions: