MNsure signs up almost 11,000 Minnesotans in first month

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MNsure's signups nearly tripled in the health exchange's second two weeks of existence compared to its first two, according to enrollment data released at a Wednesday news conference.

The Associated Press reported that almost 11,000 Minnesotans have signed up for health insurance through the state's online exchange in its first month of operation. Because many of the plans purchased will cover families, the Star Tribune reports that the 10,940 signups represent an estimated 31,447 people who will be covered. About 9,200 of those who have signed up are on public insurance plans while the remaining 1,800 are for private market plans.

MnSure reported that an additional 4,300 people have completed the application process but haven't selected an insurer.

MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov sought to distinguish the state’s activity from the highly publicized struggles on the federal exchange. Minnesota is one of 16 states and the District of Columbia that built its own insurance exchange. At a Wednesday press conference to review the site's status, Todd-Malmlov told reporters that the Minnesota-built site gives the state more control and flexibility. That helped the site to address regional disparities when it was discovered that residents in southeastern Minnesota were initially asked to pay significantly more than in other parts of the state.

About 300,000 Minnesotans are thought to be uninsured and are projected to eventually enroll. MNsure officials expect the signups to accelerate as the Dec. 15 deadline approaches for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2014.

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