Problems Persist with MNsure as Important Date Approaches

Created: 12/12/2013 10:37 PM KSTP.com
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- The deadline for 2014 health coverage through MNsure is looming and many are still trying to figure out how to even sign up. It’s caused so much confusion even Governor Mark Dayton has expressed concerns, but in order to have coverage by January 1st, people must get everything filled out by December 23rd.
A MNsure representative traveled down to Austin to answer questions. "I've been in Duluth, I've been in Willmar, I've been in Brainerd, I've been in Owatonna, and now I'm here in in Austin," said Peter Benner, one of the board of directors for MNsure.
As the clock ticks, reps are making the rounds trying to get people to sign up. “Especially with folks who have rather simple information, they can get an account set up in about 15 minutes on the website,” said Benner.
Though, Paul Wahlstrom, a broker in Austin, said he's seeing an increase in confused insurance shoppers. "It started to really pick up to the point of several referrals a day," said Wahlstom. The most common frustration he sees, is website related. "The process is a little difficult for someone who isn’t computer savvy," he said.
Calling for help hasn’t been all that easy either. There are reports of wait times up to an hour, not to mention MNsure's executive director took an untimely tropical vacation late last month. "It's obviously a critical time for MNsure and it's her responsibility," Governor Dayton said on the matter.
Even so, those behind the shopping portal say things are looking up. “I expect when we get our two week report at our board meeting next Wednesday, we will see another significant increase," said Benner.
The deadline of December 23rd is only if you need your coverage to start on the first of the year. If not, you can sign up at any time. If you're still having trouble or have questions, you can always call your local broker.