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Pa, Christen and Glafira

At Open Cities Health Center (OCHC), navigators Pa, Christen and Glafira have one goal in mind: to improve the health of their community.

"We are the first point of contact with MNsure for most patients and many of our colleagues and supervisors, peers and friends," said Glafira. "We stay up to date with all the news—from complications with the website to changes in the individual mandate—to ease our clients' concerns and accurately discern rumors from reality. We assist with the MNsure application and provide follow up services in order to ensure that our clients get the health coverage they deserve."

All three say working one-on-one with individuals and families to apply for health insurance is a rewarding experience. Minnesota has expanded both Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare and has some of the lowest QHP premiums in the country.

"Clients and navigators alike experience instant gratification because we find out immediately which programs clients qualify for," said Glafira. "Seeing these same clients at OCHC weeks later for their first physical in 5 years, or a much needed mammogram, is thanks enough."

All of the Navigators at Open Cities are between the ages of 22 and 28, and can relate to the trade-offs young people face in purchasing health insurance.

"Health insurance may not be a priority when you are paying off student loans or just making rent each month, but you will be surprised at some of the plans available to you at no or little cost. There is nothing to lose by applying, and a lifetime of health to gain."

Photograph of  Pa, Christen and Glafira
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