Subject: MNSure is working for Duluthians!
January 2014


Last week, we hosted over 100 people for a presentation by Jodi Pfarr on "Connecting Us to Find Solutions to End Poverty." Our health promoters and navigators have been busy helping people sign up for coverage, and our free tax site is opening next week. We're coming up on a busy time of the year; thanks to all the funders and volunteers that make this work possible.

Executive Director

Free Tax Site Opens Next Week

Our Free Tax Site will soon be open for business! We do taxes because we believe that free and easy tax prep helps families and individuals build assets and get ahead. We'll start preparing returns on Tuesday, January 28th and work through April 15th.

Unlike commercial preparers, our tax site customers are never charged any fees or interest.

We can prepare taxes for households with tax year 2013 income up to $51,000. We have three locations:

Our Office: This year, we're providing TWO evenings of walk-in preparation plus Saturday mornings for all eligible taxpayers. Doors open Tuesday AND Wednesday evenings at 4:30 and at 8:45 am on Saturdays. Note that we moved our office last spring; we're now located at the former Lincoln Park Elementary School, 2424 W 5th St Suite 102. Taxpayers can now wait indoors in the front corridor - no more standing in the cold.

Ordean Building: By appointment on Thursdays starting at 10:00 am, open to all eligible taxpayers.

Laura MacArthur School: By appointment on Mondays starting at 4:30 pm for taxpayers with dependents, senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Please call 218-726-1665 to schedule Laura MacArthur and Ordean appointments. Visit our website to learn more about the tax site and find a checklist of documents to bring with you. You can also call us at 218-726-1665 with additional questions.

A MNSure Success Story
MNSure Logo

We're proud to host two MNSure Navigators and three health outreach workers as a part of insureDuluth, a local coalition of organizations helping Duluthians take advantage of new health care options under the Affordable Care Act.

In spite of some early technological hurdles, we've had some great successes in helping people find affordable health care. We're happy to share one story with you today:

Kitty works part-time at a pharmacy. In spite of this, she has no employer-sponsored coverage. Her husband retired early and does not yet qualify for Medicare. Because of this, they had been without coverage for several months and were feeling the double strain of unpaid medical bills and unmet health needs. Even though Kitty has diabetes, she was putting off doctor's visits to avoid incurring out-of-pocket costs. Just keeping up with the costs of medication was hard; as Kitty put it when she first met with us, "my insulin is bankrupting me!"

Kitty was having trouble using the MNSure website, so she met with one of our navigators at the insureDuluth enrollment fair at the Harrison Community Center on November 14th. After completing a quick benefits screening, she found out that both she and her husband qualify for Medical Assistance (MA), which means they'll have comprehensive coverage with no premiums and minimal co-pays.

Kitty looks forward to using this coverage to better manage her diabetes by scheduling a long-overdue visit to her doctor.

Funder Focus: United Way

We're continuing our series highlighting significant funders of our work. United Way of Greater Duluth (UWGD) is a great partner that's made long-term investments in our work. UWGD has funded our tax site and asset-building programs since 2009 and our JumpStart car purchase program since 2013. United Way "envisions a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives." We're proud to help make progress toward that vision.

United Way Logo

Because of support from UWGD, in 2013:

  • 18 people purchased a reliable and affordable vehicle to transport themselves to work and their children to childcare and after school activities. 93% of these people reported that obtaining a JumpStart vehicle improved their overall financial security.
  • 1563 households benefited from our free tax preparation services and obtained over $3 million in tax refunds
  • 84 people increased their credit score by an average of 51 points and 11 people utilized our matched savings program to acquire a long term asset
  • 99 people completed our Common Cents Financial and Homebuyer classes

Thanks, United Way!

Select Events:

Click to register

January 23rd, 6:00 PM Last Tax Site Assistant's Training
January 28th, 1:00 PM Agency Orientation
January 30th, 5:30pm January Big View
February 1st, 8:00am Common Cents Session 3 First Meeting
February 3rd, 5:00pm Getting Ahead First Class Meeting
February 4th, 6:00 PM First Class, Common Cents Session 5 First Meeting