12/12/2015 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Joe Campbell
Deputy Director of External Affairs
ST. PAUL, Minn.-In an effort to provide more time for Minnesotans who qualify for financial help available only through MNsure, the organization today announced it would extend the enrollment deadline for January 1 coverage.
Minnesotans now have until Monday, December 28, 2015, to enroll in coverage and have their plan effective on January 1, 2016. The change comes as some health insurance companies expressed interest in offering plans through the end of the month.
The enrollment deadline extension is not in response to any system issues or technical problems.
"MNsure is the only place where Minnesotans can qualify for financial help including tax credits and low-cost or no-cost plans," CEO Allison O'Toole said. "More Minnesotans than ever are now qualifying for this financial help. Extending this deadline means all Minnesotans now have until December 28 to enroll in coverage for 2016 through MNsure."
Even with this deadline extension, MNsure is strongly urging Minnesotans not to wait until the last minute to enroll in health and dental coverage, as it could cause delays in receiving information from your insurance company.
"It is in the best interest of all Minnesotans to enroll as soon as possible," O'Toole said. "MNsure continues to send enrollment data to insurance companies daily, but waiting to enroll could mean you will not have ID cards or other plan information on January 1."
To meet anticipated demand, MNsure will increase customer service resources in its contact center. The MNsure contact center will have the following changes to its regularly scheduled hours:
Tuesday, December 15: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday, December 27: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Monday, December 28: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Thursday, December 31: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Call volume is expected to be high. Last year, on December 15, 2014, the MNsure contact center received an average of 1,600 calls every hour, a historically high number.
Today's announcement does not impact those found eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.
The 2016 open enrollment period began November 1, 2015, and will end on January 31, 2016. Small group employers and Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage-the highest percentage in state history.