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Winona bar hosts MNsure sign-up happy hour

Posted by: Pam Louwagie Updated: March 31, 2014 - 11:58 AM

Some Southeast Minnesota residents were given an unusual place to get help signing up for health insurance before Monday's deadline: a local bar.

Ed's No Name Bar in downtown Winona hosted a sign up happy hour Friday, inviting patrons to bring their laptops and get their questions answered from a certified MnSure navigator from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m..  

Typically such events are held at places such as wellness centers and libraries, but bar owner Ed Hoffman said he agreed to the idea suggested by a local musician after he signed up on MNsure and found the website confusing.

"I would have benefitted from some face to face contact with somebody while I was dealing with it," Hoffman said.

The bar, which specializes in craft beers, hosts local art exhibits as well as music performances and other entertainment.

"I think it was, all in all, a pretty good event," Hoffman said. "The nature of the place sort of attracts a lot of artists and musicians and folks like that. The topic of insurance had been a regular topic of conversation. There are a lot of uninsured people ... trying to make it doing creative things."

About 20 people signed up, Hoffman said he was told.

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