MNsure Special Enrollment Period Ends Wednesday Night
Open enrollment to purchase health insurance through MNsure ends Wednesday night, and officials are preparing by extending call center hours for those completing applications at the last minute.
Staff will be available until 10 p.m. to help answer questions and get Minnesotans enrolled through a program on the state’s health insurance exchange platform. All coverage purchased at this point goes into effect on March 1. Under the federal Affordable Care Act, people without health insurance could face tax penalties.
“MNsure stands ready to help Minnesotans,” CEO Allison O’Toole said in a statement announcing the extended hours.
The so-called “special enrollment period” began on February 1 after state legislators passed a $312 million health insurance premium relief bill that provides a 25 percent discount to the 125,000 Minnesotans in the individual market than don’t qualify for federal subsidies. MNsure officials said they wanted to provide more time for those who might have been holding off for a relief bill or otherwise didn’t think they could afford a plan this year.
“This is good news for Minnesotans,” O’Toole said. “Given how close enactment of the premium relief bill was to the deadline for open enrollment, we believe Minnesotans needed more time to benefit from this important opportunity to lower their health insurance bill by 25 percent.”
As of this month, 96 percent of Minnesotans have health insurance coverage through their employer or a private or public plan, according to MNsure, which is the highest recorded number in state history.