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The Latest: MNsure site receives 40K visits on opening day

November 01, 2017 - 4:10 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Latest on open enrolment beginning for Minnesota shoppers who buy health insurance on their own (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Officials report a smooth start on the first day of open enrolment for Minnesota's health insurance exchange.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the exchange said it had already seen more than 40,000 visits to its website. And a year after suspected robocalls tied up phone lines on the opening day of enrolment, call wait times were averaging just one second.

Minnesota is one of just 12 states with its own health insurance exchange — called MNsure — and the state is capitalizing on that autonomy.

Minnesota has extended its open enrolment period to Jan. 14. The state exchange has kept its advertising budget steady from past years, and is still funding enrolment advocates who fan out across the state to help residents sign up.

MNsure.org will stay open 24 hours a day through Saturday, Nov. 4.

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12:05 a.m.

Open enrolment is beginning and the head of Minnesota's health insurance exchange says the state is well-positioned to help residents sign up amid federal confusion about health care.

President Donald Trump's administration has halved this year's open enrolment period and slashed advertising and outreach budgets for HealthCare.gov. But Minnesota is one of just 12 states with its own health insurance exchange, and the state is capitalizing on that autonomy.

Open enrolment was set to begin Wednesday. MNsure extended its enrolment to last through Jan. 14 and is continuing to fund advertising and enrolment outreach programs.

Exchange chief executive Allison O'Toole says that freedom gives Minnesota the reins.

Premiums are largely stable in Minnesota this year due to a new, $549 million state program to control costs.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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