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Enrollment boost as MNsure deadline looms

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MNsure, the state's health insurance exchange, says more than 148,000 Minnesotans have signed up for coverage through the exchange as of March 23, 2014.

That's more than the approximately 136,700 the exchange reported Monday when officials declared victory in surpassing its goal of 135,000 new enrollees.

Officials say the jump in new sign-ups is from a last minute boost in MNsure's processing of a large number of paper applications.

KARE 11 reports the new numbers compiled for MNsure's board of directors Tuesday include over 41,000 enrollments in private insurance plans and over 104,000 for the public Medicaid and MinnesotaCare plans.

Here are the latest enrollment numbers from MNsure:

As of March 23, 2014

  • 148,068 Total Enrollments

o 75,676 Medical Assistance (Medicaid)

o 41,273 Qualified Health Plans (QHP), plans sold by private insurance companies on the exchange

o 28,540 MinnesotaCare

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance.

Minnesotans have until 11:59 p.m. on the 31st to enroll or face federal tax penalties of $95 or 1 percent of annual income above the tax filing threshold – whichever is greater. The state exchange says a consumer with an annual income of $50,000 would be subject to a $400 - $500 penalty.

But don't worry, there is still time - MNsure announced earlier this week that there are new exceptions for people having difficulties enrolling in a plan.

From the exchange: 

“We are anticipating many people may attempt to enroll at the last minute,” said Leitz. “We want to make sure that everyone who has started the process can get enrolled in the plan of their choice, even if the clock runs out before their enrollment is complete.”

Minnesotans have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 31 to enroll or get “in line” for coverage. Being “in line” can include, but is not limited to:

  • Completion of the MNsure Enrollment Attempt Form
  • MNsure’s ability to see a consumer’s state of activity in the MNsure IT system
  • Submission of a paper application to DHS or county agency
  • Navigator or broker records of working with consumer
  • Records from the MNsure Contact Center or consumer phone records that show attempted contact
  • Emails sent to MNsure
  • Documents/statements made during an appeals process

MNsure officials say the exchange is working with the six private health insurance companies who sell their plans on the marketplace to ensure anyone who has started the enrollment process before the deadline can still obtain coverage.

The March 31 deadline does not apply to Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare recipients or small employers purchasing coverage through MNsure. The deadline also does not impact people who have a life event, such as marriage, the birth of a child or loss of other qualifying health insurance coverage.

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