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About Us

Opening The Door to Health Care

Since our founding in 1995, we’ve helped over 50,000 low-income, uninsured children, families, and adults overcome barriers to quality health care coverage and services. Today, we continue our history of innovative solutions and lead the way in culturally competent outreach, enrollment, health literacy, and health system navigation services.

2017 Annual Report



A History of Innovation

Responding to Community Needs

In 1995, HealthEast Care System created Portico Healthnet, originally called MetroEast Program for Health, in response to the growing number of low-income east metro community members who couldn’t afford the cost of health insurance and didn’t qualify for government sponsored health programs. By providing coverage for primary and preventive services, Portico was able to improve participants’ health and address the high cost to hospitals for providing emergency department and inpatient care to uninsured individuals. Additionally, Portico’s social workers provided care management coordination to address barriers to care.

What started as a model designed to provide affordable primary and preventive care options quickly expanded to meet additional community needs, such as providing personalized application and enrollment assistance to those eligible for publicly supported programs.

In 2019, we helped over 6,000 individuals successfully enroll in Minnesota Health Care Programs.

Meeting the Demand

In 2000, Portico Healthnet became an independent, community-based 501(c)(3) organization. With the launch of the Affordable Care Act and MNsure in 2013, Portico staff became Certified MNsure Navigators, and Portico increased in size to reach out to those newly eligible for public programs. Portico provides training and resources for MNsure navigators and assistors throughout Minnesota. Our organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of professionals from the finance, health care, legal, marketing, policy, public health and public relations sectors.

The addition of Spanish, Hmong, Somali, and Vietnamese bilingual MNsure Navigators has allowed Portico to meet increasing demand from immigrant communities. Navigating the complex health care system can be a daunting task for most people but can be far more difficult for those who face additional linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic barriers.

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Smiling Family

Connecting People With Health Care

Today, Portico helps low-income people, people of color, immigrants, and other uninsured Minnesotans enroll in health insurance and navigate the complicated health care system. Our certified MNsure Navigators provide free, personalized assistance and help clients find the most affordable coverage for their family.

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Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce the number of people without coverage for health care services.