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The deadline to sign up for insurance through MNsure is tonight


The deadline to sign up for health insurance through MNsure is Sunday at 11:59 p.m.

Everyone is required to have health insurance coverage (unless you're one of the few exempt) – and if you don't, you'll face a fine.

And that fine is higher than last year. In 2016, it’ll be either 2.5 percent of certain taxable income, or a flat $695 – whichever one is greater.

If people don't signup by the deadline, they'll not only face a fine, but they'll likely have to wait another year to enroll, Forum News Service says. (There are some special enrollment periods throughout the year for those who qualify. Find out more here.)

To sign up for insurance, visit MNsure's website, where people can compare plans and find out if they qualify for financial help. More than seven out of 10 Minnesotans who have enrolled through the exchange have received financial help, MNsure notes.

If you need help, the call center is open until midnight Sunday, MNsure CEO Allison O'Toole told KARE 11. MNsure received "thousands of calls" Saturday, O'Toole says, and the average wait time was fewer than 5 minutes, according to MNsure.

O'Toole told KARE 11 she hopes people don't wait until the last minute to call for help, but if they do and they're on-hold at midnight, MNsure will work with you to "get you through" and get coverage, she explains.

This is the third year of enrollments for the state-run health insurance exchange, created under 2012’s Affordable Care Act. The first year was plagued by technical glitches and a busy call center, though things went more smoothly in year two. Those who tried to sign up just before the first deadline this year also faced lengthy wait times to the call center.

The state-run health insurance exchange has a goal of enrolling 83,000 Minnesotans by the end of open enrollment, and as of Jan. 15, 75,000 had enrolled in private insurance since individual enrollments began Nov. 1, according to MNsure's website.

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