Deadline extension approaching for MNsure applicants

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Officials with the state health insurance exchange are reminding Minnesotans who had difficulty enrolling by the March 31 deadline to complete their applications by Tuesday, April 22.

MNsure Monday announced instructions for people who attempted to get coverage by the end of last month but couldn’t, and filled out the online Enrollment Attempt form at MNsure.org.

Officials say anyone in this situation must choose a plan by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22.

They must also pay their first month’s premium in full by April 30 directly to their insurance company to activate their coverage and avoid penalty fees.

For most people, the next chance to enroll in health insurance will be the next open enrollment period beginning on November 15, 2014,

Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare are exempt from these deadlines, and can enroll in MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance year-round, officials say.

So far, MNsure has processed more than 36,000 Enrollment Attempt forms and determined that almost 32,000 reflect genuine enrollment attempts.

Meanwhile, the state’s Legislative Auditor is planning another broad audit looking into the troubled rollout of the MNsure health insurance exchange.

Legislative Auditor James Nobles' office already has two limited examinations of MNsure underway.

One is a federally required review of how MNsure spent more than $150 million in federal grants. It also is reviewing the security of MNsure's website.

Nobles made clear in January that he believed MNsure was ripe for a thorough review, calling 2014 the year of MNsure "oversight and accountability" for his office. Now the commission has given his office the green light.

"The problem that really troubles me--so many people had so many problems using MNsure," Nobles told MPR News. 

Results of the audit are not expected until the end of this year.

MNsure officials say anyone with a problem or question should call 855-366-7873, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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