Welcome to Bridge to Benefits
NOTE: This screening tool does not determine eligibility. It is only a guideline. After using this screening tool, you must apply to each program to be sure your are eligible.
Open enrollment through MNSure, Minnesota’s online marketplace for purchasing health insurance, opens November 15, 2014 and runs through February 15, 2015. During the open enrollment period, those without health insurance can compare prices and purchase a health insurance plan and current MNSure enrollees can renew the coverage they purchased last year or select a new plan. Those who enroll through MNSure can also find out whether they qualify for financial assistance such as Medical Assistance (Minnesota’s Medicaid program), MinnesotaCare (a low cost premium program) or the Advanced Premium Tax Credits (a tax credits that goes toward reducing the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses). Consumers can apply for coverage online (www.mnsure.org), by mail or through a health care navigator who can help with the application process. The Bridge to Benefits screening tool on this site can be used to see if you may be potentially eligible for any of the three financial assistance programs. The tool also provides information for connecting to health care navigators.
Applications are now available for the Energy Assistance Program, which helps people with lower incomes to pay their heating/energy bills. Applications are accepted from OCTOBER 1-MAY 31 of each year. To download an application click here. The Energy Assistance Program is administered by local Community Action agencies. You can send your completed application to your local Community Action agency. The list of agencies can be found at http://mn.gov/commerce/energy/topics/financial/Energy-Assistance-Program/Energy-Assistance-Providers.jsp, or by calling 1-800-657-3710.
Open enrollment for private insurance has ended. However, you can apply and enroll in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare throughout the year. You also can enroll in private insurance if you have a qualifying life event such as marriage, birth of a child or loss of qualifying health coverage. Read more about the enrollment deadline, how you will be eligible if you made an attempt to enroll and the penalty for going without insurance.
The Bridge to Benefits (B2B) website will be updated on Jan. 1, 2014 to include information on and screening for health care programs under the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota put together a Question & Answer on what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act and how you may benefit from full implementation of the law. Learn more.
Effective Oct. 1, 2013 able-bodied adults without dependents will no longer be exempt from SNAP Employment & Training Requirements. Benefit amounts will also be adjusted on Oct. 1 and again on Nov. 1. Find out more.
Comcast and CenturyLink now offer low-cost internet services plan for $9.95 plus tax per month for qualifying low-income families.