The Minnesota ACA marketplace (MNsure) has created a special health insurance coverage enrollment period in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Open Door Health Center in Mankato has navigators available to help individuals and families apply for this health insurance coverage.


Many without employer health coverage failed to apply for state health insurance during the open enrollment period in 2019. Contributing factors included the removal of the tax penalty for being uninsured. Also, many families without chronic medical conditions chose to do without healthcare insurance in 2020, to save money.


The introduction of COVID-19 has created a concern for those families that opted out of health insurance coverage. According to the CDC, as of March 28, 2020, a total of 571,678 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 26,494 deaths have been reported worldwide. Many individuals and families watching the news coverage of the pandemic have become concerned about their ability to pay for the testing, or treatment for COVID-19. MNSure has announced a special enrollment period, ending on April 21st, to ensure that “every Minnesotan has the security of health insurance… [to] get the care they need if they contract this serious illness.”


“Many people just don’t know that this time sensitive opportunity is out there,” said Mandy Gault, representative for Open Door Health Center. To qualify during the special enrollment period, individuals must not be offered a health plan through their employer and must not be covered by state insurance already. If interested, individuals and families must select and apply for a plan by April 23, to receive coverage beginning May 1st.


For those who wish to apply or to discuss their options, Open Door has certified MNsure navigators who can assist anyone in completing the application process. This service is free from Open Door Health Center and is offered by phone or in person.


“Many people are struggling with the loss of a job, or with the stress and anxiety of the potential for COVID-19. Fear and anxiety sometimes make it difficult for people to manage a new and different application process. Our enrollment specialists can help make the process easier,” said Gault. Open Door also has a translation process for those best served in a language other than English. “We’ve offered no-cost insurance enrollment assistance to the community for more than 6 years, regardless of whether the community members are patients at Open Door. Serving the underserved is an important part of our mission.”


Open Door Health Center provides medical, dental, and behavioral health care to individuals and families in Southern MN regardless of income or insurance. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Open Door receives federal and state grant funds, as well as private donations, to serve community members who may be underserved.


Call (507) 388-2120 EXT. 5620 to speak to an Open Door Enrollment Specialist today. To learn more about Open Door’s enrollment services, visit