More Minnesotans sign up for MNsure, others could see tax credits


Enrollment continues to climb for Minnesota's online health insurance exchange.

WCCO reports enrollment in MNsure has climbed to 113,000.

"More and more Minnesotans continue to secure health insurance coverage through MNsure, with many getting coverage for the first time," interim CEO Scott Leitz said in a statement. "We are happy with the number of people we have enrolled so far, but we're not done working yet. There are more than three weeks remaining in open enrollment, and we want to make sure every Minnesotan that wants quality affordable coverage gets it."

While the numbers of enrollees in MNsure continue to climb, those who have avoided the troubled health insurance exchange and bought policies directly from insurers may still receive qualifying tax credits.

MPR News reports MNsure officials are working with the federal government, health plans and the state Department of Human Services to ensure that consumers who lost out on credits because they were unable to sign up through MNsure's website will still get the discounts.

According to MPR, because of the technical glitches surrounding many of the exchange websites, the Obama administration is allowing states with problem websites to provide the discounts to consumers who bought directly from insurers. Previously the administration required consumers to use the exchanges to receive the credits.

Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement, "I guarantee that my administration will do everything possible to provide Minnesotans with all of the federal tax credits for which they are eligible."

As to the problems at MNsure, the organization says it is also continuing to show signs of improved system stability. The organization says contact center hold times average less than 60 seconds, down from three minutes in February and more than 60 minutes in December. According to MNsure, website error rates are down to their lowest points ever, and pending applications have dropped more than 95 percent since December.

MNsure went over 100,000 enrollees near the end of February. Enrollments still lag projections in the number of private plan enrollees, which could put a financial pinch on MNsure in 2015. Officials already lowered projections for the private insurance plans from 70,000 to 50,000.

For those still wanting to enroll in MNsure, the organization said the last day of open enrollment without facing a tax penalty is March 31.

Financial assistance is available to help pay for monthly premiums for a single individual earning up to $45,960 per year, or a family of four earning up to $94,200 a year.

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