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MNSure expecting traffic surge as deadline looms, website still has glitches

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Minnesota's health insurance exchange is expecting high levels of traffic this weekend as the deadline for open enrollment looms.

Those wanting to secure a health plan through MNSure in time for the New Year need to sign up by midnight on Monday, with the Pioneer Press reporting that the exchange is expecting a surge in web traffic and phone calls this weekend.

MNSure is extending its contact center hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and it will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday, according to a press release.

"It's simply in the consumers' best interest to shop as early as possible and make their plan choices as early as they can," MNSure chief executive Scott Leitz told the Pioneer Press.

Since open enrollment started on November 15, more than 33,000 have signed up or renewed their health insurance through MNSure.

But the Star Tribune reports that the website, which suffered from well-publicized failures when it was launched in 2013, is still suffering from glitches as the deadline approaches.

MNSure has told insurance agents there are 5 known glitches with the site, the newspaper notes, including an error messages that tells users it cannot calculate the tax credit they are due from the federal government to discount premium costs.

However, MNSure told the Tribune these glitches will not affect the majority of people using the website.

The Business Journal says that MNSure has been trying to drum up business through a direct mail campaign, with cards sent to 24,000 households across the state this past weekend.

These cards have mostly been sent to those signed up over the past year with PreferredOne, which has since left MNSure, to encourage them to enroll in a different plan.

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