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MNsure enrollments increased in November

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About 26,000 people have now signed up for health insurance on MNsure, the state's new online marketplace.

Officials said about 11,000 signups were logged in October, and about 15,000 in November, the Associated Press reports. MNsure officials say that almost 72,000 people will be covered by the roughly 26,000 enrollments because many are for family plans. MNsure officials expect that number to spike in December as people scramble to enroll so that they are covered by Jan. 1, the Star Tribune reports.

The AP notes that of the people signed up for insurance through November, about three-quarters are on publicly subsidized plans, which would include Medicaid or MinnesotaCare. The other 25 percent have enrolled through MNsure for a private insurance plan.

MNsure has launched an advertising and marketing campaign designed to drum up interest in the program. It's especially important that the program attract younger, healthier consumers, officials have said. The median age of those who have enrolled in private insurance plans through MNsure so far is 50, the AP reported.

MNsure has battled negative publicity surrounding the rollout of the health care exchanges nationwide. Minnesota is one of 15 states that runs its own exchange, and generally, the state-run sites have performed better than the maligned federal site Healthcare.gov.

MNsure is said to have the lowest premiums among the 15 states that are running their own sites, but also the highest deductibles.

The MNsure Board was meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss the program's progress. An important deadline is looming for the program: Anyone who wants coverage starting Jan. 1 must be enrolled by Dec. 15.

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