Opening The Door to Health Care
Since our founding in 1995, we’ve helped nearly 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.
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 2017, we helped nearly 5,000 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.
The addition of Spanish, Hmong, Somali, and Vietnamese bilingual Community Health Workers 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.
Our mission is to reduce the number of people without coverage for health care services.