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Minneapolis Oscar® Nominee Brings Star Power to MNsure Enrollment Pitch

3/21/2014 10:14:43 AM


CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Oscar-nominated actor Barkhad Abdi and his "Captain Phillips" costar, Faysal Ahmed, are adding star power to MNsure's final push to enroll Minnesotans in health insurance before the March 31 deadline. Both actors undertook the project because they've learned how important health insurance is first-hand.

The actors are starring in TV, radio and YouTube ads that will urge people to get coverage. Ahmed was born in Somalia but grew up in Minneapolis' Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. "I got really sick and I had to go to the hospital-I had a huge bill. I found out the hard way how tough it is without health insurance."

Abdi's mother helped him find insurance and enroll. In the YouTube ad he points to a scar on his head and talks about an accident that left him hospitalized. "It's a good thing I had health insurance," Abdi concludes.

On Friday, both actors will be at the Brian Coyle Center in the Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood from 5:30 to 7 p.m., to pose for photos and urge people to enroll in health plans with assisters who will be on hand to help. On Friday, March 28, Abdi and Ahmed will be at the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud from 3:00 to 5:45 p.m. to promote MNsure enrollment.

From now until the end of the month, MNsure is making a major push to encourage people to enroll in a health plan. You can enroll through the MNsure online marketplace, where you can compare health plans and see if you qualify for public benefits or subsidies. You can also enroll at one of more than 1,000 person-to-person enrollment opportunities MNsure has organized in the month of March so people can get help from a navigator. Information about all of these options is available at

Under the Affordable Care Act, the final deadline to be enrolled in a health plan is Monday, March 31. If you do not have health coverage you will be subject to a fine of 1% of your income or $95, whichever is greater.

The new federal law also ends your ability to purchase private health insurance plans outside of the open enrollment period. Minnesotans can enroll in Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare at any time, and you can add coverage for new family members like a new spouse or a child, but you can't purchase a new private plan after March 31 until the new open enrollment period begins on November 15.

Find all of MNsure's videos on the MNsure YouTube page.

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