MNsure announces recipients of $4 million in grants

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2013 - 4:15 PM

All but one of the original recipients will receive grants, which angered some for a lack of diversity.

Officials with the state’s online health insurance exchange on Wednesday announced the final list of recipients for $4 million in federal outreach grants, ending a process that spawned a contentious public hearing before legislators and drew questions from Gov. Mark Dayton over its lack of inclusion of certain groups, including those who serve African-Americans and those with mental health concerns.

Despite the outcry, just one recipient fell off the original list of 30 applicants, which MNsure leaders had insisted still were being vetted. That was Bruce Lyon-Dugin, an independent broker who made news after waving a shotgun during a traffic stop in Wisconsin. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and resisting or obstructing an officer.

In a meeting with the MNsure board, Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov defended the sweep of the recipients, saying the organizations have adequate reach across the state and across various hard-to-reach populations.

About 55 percent of grantees serve minorities and immigrants — with six groups serving African-Americans, six serving Hispanics, five working with American Indians, and four each working with Asian and/or Hmong populations and new immigrants.

In response to the public criticism, the MNsure board voted to free up $750,000 for a second round of grants to help get the word out about MNsure. Those applications are still under review.

Here is the list of recipients in round one:

AccountAbility Minnesota: $41,337

Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services Inc.: $118,836

Centro Inc: $47,293

Communicating for America Inc: $38,836

Community Resource Connections Inc: $141,600

Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES): $99,120

Dakota County: $190,376

Generations Health Care Initiatives: $230,369

Health Access MN Inc.: $326,606

HealthFinders Collaborative Inc.: $31,662

Hmong American Partnership: $153,552

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