There's just one week remaining in the MNsure open enrollment period for coverage in 2020. CEO Nate Clark says many Minnesotans who enroll could qualify for tax credits... "I think too many Minnesotans assume that they don't qualify, there was a recent study by the Department of Health that said that 75% of Minnesotans who are uninsured assumed that they earn too much money, in fact, they don't they could qualify for free or low-cost health care" Individuals earning up to $49,960 a year, or a family of four earning up to $103,000 a year, could qualify for federal tax credits. [...]
Over the holiday season, postal carriers will be delivering around 800-million packages nationwide. Kristy Anderson is the Minnesota spokeswoman for the United States Postal Service. She says if you haven't already signed up for informed delivery to better track your packages: "You'll get a daily email. A picture of all your mail that's coming for that day. And any packages that are even in the future or next day on there so you can kind of keep an eye on it" You can sign up for this free service at informed-delivery-dot-com. (informeddelivery.com)
MNsure's open enrollment period ends in just under two weeks. CEO Nate Clark is reminding private health plan enrollees that there is still time to renew or change their coverage for 2020. "Our website is open 24/7 so consumers can come to the exchange, they can log into mnsure.org, they can create an account, they can search plans, look at what's available to them and then they can go ahead and complete that application" Those who are seeking coverage for 2020 and have not yet submitted an application through MNsure can do so through December 23rd. The MNsure open enrollment period [...]
This week's carbon monoxide leak at an apartment building in Minneapolis is prompting a reminder from State Fire Marshal Bruce West: "Coming into the time when our houses being closed for the next 3, 4 months, with the heating season, carbon monoxide alarms in your home are so important. We want to make sure that people have one on each level, test those carbon monoxide alarms just like you test your smoke alarms" On Wednesday, one person became sick and 200 people were forced from a Dinkytown apartment building after a leak of the colorless, odorless gas.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is encouraging Minnesotans who apply for a REAL ID to get a head start on the process. "Applying for a real id requires more documentation than Minnesotans are used to providing when renewing their standard driver's license or ID card, and it can be confusing, that's why we're really suggesting folks use the pre-application online tool" Spokesman Bruce Gordon says to pre-apply, you can go to the REAL ID page on the DPS website. Starting October 1st, 2020, every air traveler 18 or older will need a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID, passport [...]
Flu activity has been pretty calm so far this year, but Kris Ehresmann with the Minnesota Department of Public Health says heading into the holidays, it's a good time to get vaccinated if you haven't already... "There'll be a lot of get-togethers and then as we get into December there are a lot of gatherings and so it's a really good time to one, make sure that you're protected as you're out and about mingling with people, as well as that you are protecting the people around you" Ehresmann is especially encouraging those at high risk of getting the [...]
Drivers are being advised to watch out for black ice on state roads. "Everybody has to slow down and leave some extra room and leave yourself an out and pay attention, that is your best defense if somebody else makes a mistake. The only way you're going to be able to avoid paying for somebody else's mistake is to be aware of it and try to avoid it" Mike Hanson with the Department of Public Safety. Snow and sleet mixed with cold temps resulted in around 320 car crashes and more than 520 spinouts over the weekend.
It's Cyber Monday--and while there are plenty of good deals out there to be had, the Minnesota Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that there are also plenty of fake websites out there meant to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers. The BBB's Bess Ellenson says to look closely at the website you're shopping at and... "Check the spellings--if there's a bunch of misspellings and something just doesn't seem right, there's a good chance that it's a fake website, always look to make sure that says https in the web address bar, not just Http, because that's not a secure website" Ellenson also [...]
Thanksgiving is the peak day of the year for home cooking fires... "Everybody is so busy, we're being pulled in so many different directions, things are happening, you have people over, people are excited to be at the house, so we just want to remember that we want people to really pay attention in the kitchen" State Fire Marshal Bruce West says the three leading causes of home fires in Minnesota are cooking, heating and open flames. And the holidays are often the deadliest time of year for house fires.
A winter safety reminder from Xcel Energy: "Customer should definitely try to keep their natural gas meters clear of snow and ice, that just prevents the potential for any dangerous natural gas buildup indoors due to vents" And in case of any power outages, spokesman Matt Lindstrom also recommends having a home emergency kit including--a battery-powered radio or television, flashlights, and backup phone chargers.