4/1/2014 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator
ST. PAUL, Minn. - MNsure successfully enrolled 169,251 Minnesotans into comprehensive, affordable health insurance plans as of midnight on March 31, bringing the 2014 open enrollment period to a close, MNsure announced today.
"More than 169,000 Minnesotans have enrolled for health coverage through MNsure, blowing past our projection of 135,000 in October," said MNsure's interim CEO, Scott Leitz. "I am extremely proud of the MNsure staff who worked tirelessly, often sacrificing time with family over the last year to get Minnesotans enrolled in coverage. Our mission every day has been to make health insurance coverage possible for those Minnesotans who are uninsured and underinsured, including those who have been denied coverage up to now due to pre-existing conditions. Though the rollout of MNsure has not been perfect, we have worked hard to make critical improvements - which we will continue to do through the spring and summer, leading up to our next open enrollment period in November."
To date, MNsure has enrolled 47,046 Minnesotans in a qualified health plan, 34,219 in MinnesotaCare and 87,986 in Medical Assistance.
MNsure's first open enrollment period drew to a close at midnight last night, ending a six-month timeframe for those who qualify for commercial health insurance, or qualified health plans (QHPs), to enroll in coverage - unless there is a qualifying life event that has an impact on the coverage an individual or family needs. Life events include the birth of a child, a job change or a change in marital status, and the occurrence of such a life event makes it possible to enroll after the March 31 deadline. Also able to enroll now that March 31 has passed are Minnesotans who are eligible for coverage through a public program such as MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance, small business employers using MNsure's SHOP program, and members of federally recognized Indian tribes.
MNsure today also reminded Minnesotans who had difficulty enrolling in time to meet the deadline that MNsure will work them to complete the enrollment process as long as a good-faith effort was made to enroll by midnight on March 31. As of midnight last night, more than 36,000 Minnesotans had completed the Enrollment Attempt form found at MNsure.org. This raw number represents only the number of forms that were completed and has not been analyzed to separate consumers previously in the MNsure system from consumers who tried to enroll for the first time recently.
"I want to emphasize that we will be reaching out to those consumers who made attempts to enroll and were unsuccessful as late as 11:59 p.m. last night, provided they completed the online Enrollment Attempt form or we can otherwise see them in the MNsure system," said Leitz. "The reality is there are some folks who could not successfully enroll through no fault of their own, and we will ensure they are covered."
The online marketplace was taken offline at midnight last night, and will be down until 8 a.m. Thursday for maintenance.
More than 1,000 "March to Enroll" enrollment opportunities were held across the state in the month of March, and included events on college campuses, in public libraries, and at bars and brew pubs as MNsure focused on Minnesota's "Young Invincibles" in the final days of the month. MNsure's certified brokers and navigators, along with MNsure grantee partners, went above and beyond to create enrollment events and meet with consumers face-to-face to make enrolling easier, said Leitz.
The MNsure Contact Center had received 28,165 calls by midnight Monday, and the average wait time was 31 minutes for the day. For the entire month of March, the Contact Center received 111,121 total calls and the average wait time for the month was just under six minutes. The Contact Center remains open for business, and is the best resource for Minnesotans reporting qualifying life events and changes in income that may impact tax credits or subsidies, in addition to general questions.
"My hat's off to the hardworking women and men who helped thousands of Minnesotans in our call center, not only helping callers in English, but also in Somali, Spanish and Hmong," said Leitz. "These amazing people were on our front lines and they know perhaps better than anyone else how consumers struggled to secure coverage when our technical systems were underperforming. I am deeply grateful for their dedication and endless patience and their endless ability to answer complicated and detailed questions."
The next open enrollment period begins November 15.