The MNsure Board met this week and provided metrics on the rollout of the MNsure program for the October 1 through November 30, 2013 timeframe. According the Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov, about 25,000 are in the process of paying for commercial policies and enrolling in public programs. About 45,000 others have completed applications. The exchange has a goal of enrolling 135,000 Minnesotans via the online MNsure program by March of 2014.
According to the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, those who have selected a commercial health plan have yet to pay their premium and/or the insurance carriers do not have complete information from MNsure about the individual enrollees. Challenges with the web-based exchange still persist. MNsure officials expect a spike in enrollment during December. The “young invincibles” have yet to sign up in large numbers. The success of the exchange relies in part on participation of young, healthy enrollees to balance the risk of older, less healthy enrollees in the exchange. There is a financial tax penalty in the Affordable Care Act which will affect all those who do not have some type of health insurance.
Also announced at the Board meeting was an additional $833,000 in community outreach and infrastructure grants. The funds went to 12 organizations to hopefully reach more than 120,000 people. These grants will be used to educate minority and hard to reach communities such as non-English speaking, geographically isolated communities, vulnerable and underserved populations. Grantees include National Alliance on Mental Illness of Minnesota ($125k), Minneapolis Urban League ($100k), Minnesota Recovery Connection ($45k) and Confederation of Somali Community of Minnesota ($50k).