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MNsure extends enrollment after problems disrupt 'small number' of users

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The enrollment period for health plans sold through Minnesota's health exchange is over – but those in the middle of applications when the deadline passed have another chance to get covered.

MNsure announced a "special enrollment period" for consumers who were "in line" to sign up via Minnesota's health insurance exchange will be able to complete their applications and get themselves covered between Tuesday and Friday this week.

This option will be open to anyone who:

  • Submitted a paper application before Feb. 15
  • Submitted a manual identity proofing request on or before Feb. 15
  • Created an account, or
  • Filled out/submitted an application but didn’t complete an enrollment

The enrollment period starts at 8 a.m. Tuesday and runs until 5 p.m. Friday, and to finish enrolling people need to call the MNsure contact center on 1-855-366-7873.

Anyone without a plan – whether through MNsure, a workplace plan or public assistance – face a fine of up to $325 per adult, or 2 percent of their yearly household income, whichever is greater.

'Small number' of customers affected by system problems

Last year's enrollment was beset by system glitches following the launch of the health exchange. Things have run smoother this year, but MNsure CEO Scott Leitz did concede there may have been problems that stopped people from enrolling over the weekend, saying a "small number of consumers" encountered issues.

Some of those affected expressed their frustration on social media, contacting MNsure through Twitter to highlight their problems, with several complaining of lengthy hold times while trying to get through to the contact center, while others experienced errors with the website during the application process.

MNsure is the health exchange set up for Minnesota in response to the federal government's Affordable Care Act, providing a place for people to compare and choose health plans, as well as giving low-income individuals the chance to enroll in affordable plans.

Officials ran a series of information sessions last week to boost sign-up numbers, after it was reported that MNsure was still about 17,000 short of its sign-up target for private health coverage during the three-month open enrollment period.

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