Career end restarted with Project Care

Truck driver smiles in front of his rig.

He worked as an independent long-haul truck driver his whole life, but Darryl (not his real name) did not have health insurance. As an independent contractor, he didn’t get the customary employer-backed insurance plan and had never been able to afford insurance on the independent market.

So, Darryl called Legal Aid and met with one of our Navigators, who explained that since he was not currently able to work, he should qualify for Medical Assistance. Darryl’s application was quickly approved, and he had the sight-saving surgeries that allowed him to resume work.

When diagnosed with cataracts, Darryl had no idea how he could afford the necessary surgery that would allow him to keep the job he loved. Sure enough, Darryl’s commercial driver’s license was soon suspended because he failed the eye test.

He continued to work with the Navigator to transition to MinnesotaCare with a monthly premium he could afford. He left confident that, with insurance, he would be able to keep his job and handle any future medical issues that might arise.

Project Care assisted 4,237 individuals like Darryl during fiscal year 2020, which ended on June 30, 2020. Of these, Navigators submitted applications or annual renewals for 1,762 people. 

The estimated dollar value per family unit for this benefit is $9 million across all families and individuals. 

Navigators helped others in submitting required verification documents, responding to continuing eligibility notices, and reporting changes impacting their eligibility. They met with individuals at 16 separate locations across a 12-county region in Central Minnesota. They also provided information and education on healthcare coverage to 2,308 residents through 59 outreach events.