Across the US, health insurance exchanges are under development. Authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, they will connect people to affordable coverage options. Here in Minnesota, our exchange, known as MNsure, is designed to be a convenient health insurance marketplace to find and compare health plans beginning Oct 2013, MNsure will include an online tool for enrollment along with a statewide network for outreach and one-to-one assistance. That’s where CHWs come in. As trusted and knowledgeable members of the communities they serve, CHWs will be an important resource to many uninsured and underinsured individuals and families.
To join this network, CHW employers will need to apply to become MNsure consumer assistance entities. To qualify as MNsure navigators and in-person assisters, CHWs will need to be trained and certified by MNsure. Funding to support outreach and in-person assister infrastructure will be available through several different MNsure grant programs. For the timeline and other important information, visit: http://www.mn.gov/hix/your-benefits/consumer-assistants.jsp