MNsure officials battle bad PR attached to fed-run sites

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Everyone – including President Barack Obama – has agreed that the rollout of the president's signature health care program has been, in his words, "fumbled."

Problems with the federally run website Healthcare.gov have been highly publicized and much maligned. Meanwhile, the 15 states that run their own online health insurance marketplaces – including Minnesota - generally have had a smoother launch and are drumming up more consumer interest, in part due to better outreach.

But MNsure officials say they are battling the bad PR generated by the federal sites, the Star Tribune reports. That's bad because it might keep healthy young consumers away from MNsure, officials say.

“In calls with reporters, in public presentations and in social media, we’re consistently trying to make a distinction between the federal government and our website,” MNsure spokesman John Reich told the Star Tribune.

Enrollment in MNsure is below projections, but moving in the right direction, officials say. Enrollment tripled in its second week and interest is continuing to rise, officials told the Star Tribune.

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

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