Extended: You now have until Saturday to get Jan. 1 health coverage through MNsure

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The deadline to get health insurance through MNsure that would go into effect Jan. 1, 2015 was Monday at midnight. That's now been extended.

MNsure announced Monday afternoon that Minnesotans who want coverage for the new year now have five more days – until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 – to enroll.

The moves comes after what the exchange called a "time of historic interest in MNsure." It is not in response to any system issues or technical problems, a news release said.

“The MNsure system continues to be stable and the vast majority of people coming through the system are doing so without issue,” said MNsure CEO Scott Leitz in the release. “This change is simply to allow folks that qualify for financial help more time.”

Some people are reportedly running into problems, however.

According to the Star Tribune, MNsure identified five specific glitches that have cropped up for users. But a spokesperson told the paper the number of users encountering problems is less than those who have successfully signed up for a plan.

KSTP reported things have been pretty smooth for new customers. But people who are trying to re-enroll have run into glitches, with technical issues the apparent cause.

Through Dec. 12, 33,430 clients had enrolled during the fall 2015 period, according to MNsure's website.

MNsure was preparing for a surge of web traffic ahead of the original deadline, the Pioneer Press reported.

On Monday, calls to the MNsure Contact Center were averaging about 1,600 per hour, a historically high number, MNsure said. Average wait time for a caller was 20 minutes.

“We don’t want to leave anyone behind, especially if they qualify for financial help," Leitz said. "We’re hopeful this extra week of enrollment will result in more people getting the health coverage and financial help they need.”

The deadline shift does not affect anyone who is found eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare – Dec. 31 is still the application deadline for Jan. 1 coverage.

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