New Grant Grant helps eligible low-income Minnesotans access health care coverage

Legal Aid News | Posted on March 12, 2013

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid awarded grant through the Blue Cross Foundation

Grant helps eligible low-income Minnesotans access health care coverage

St. Cloud, Minn. March 12, 2013 — The St. Cloud office of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid received a $150,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation to help eligible low-income Minnesotans access health care coverage in Central Minnesota. The funds will be used to provide information about healthcare programs available for people who are currently uninsured or underinsured and to assist people with the application and enrollment process for Minnesota’s public healthcare programs. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid will work with partners across the region including Mid-Minnesota Family Medicine Center, Lakewood Health System, PEARL, the Women’s Center at St. Cloud State University, and the Isanti County Courts to develop and implement the program.

The Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid grant is one of six awarded across the state to help more people access the services they are eligible to receive through MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance.

“We know that across Minnesota, people with incomes at or below the poverty level have rates of uninsurance nearly twice the rate of the population overall, even though many are eligible for coverage through subsidized public programs,” said Carolyn Link, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We hope that by increasing outreach and screening, more people will receive preventive care and care for routine medical conditions and be healthier as a result.”

“Every day our staff work with people facing the consequences of being uninsured: crushing debt, compromised health, interruption in education, unemployment, and homelessness. This project will allow us to proactively address these problems,” said Cathy Haukedahl, Executive Director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. “Attacking the root cause, lack of adequate health insurance, will dramatically improve the lives of the people we serve.”

For more information on Blue Cross’ grantmaking programs, visit bcbsmnfoundation.org or call (651) 662-3950 or toll free at 1-866-812-1593.

For more information on Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Healthcare Outreach Program or for help in applying for a public healthcare program, visit www.mylegalaid.org or call 320-253-0121 or toll free at 1-888-360-2889.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation exclusively dedicates its assets to improving health in Minnesota, awarding more than $32 million since it was established in 1986. The Foundation’s purpose is to make a healthy difference in people’s lives by improving the community conditions that affect the health of children and families.