MNsure, Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, met the October 1, 2013 deadline to open their health exchange website for consumers to purchase health insurance. The launch was not without glitches, some relating to the federal hub and some related to volume and programing errors. As of October 14, 5,569 completed applications were received. Overall, 12,011 people opened accounts; of those, 1,917 were eligible for the tax credits to help pay for the coverage. One of the issues with the system is that no one is yet able to purchase the insurance but officials with MNsure are sure they will have mechanisms in place before the start date for the policies which is January 1, 2014.
MNsure still expects approximately 824,000 people to obtain health insurance coverage via the exchange. Of that 700,000 plus will be covered through the State’s public health insurance programs; 103,000 will purchase commercial insurance through MNsure; and just over 13,000 will be covered by small business polices sold via the exchange.
The next MNsure Board meeting is November 6 and the group will likely continue the discussion regarding funding for 2014 when the federal government will no longer finance the health insurance exchanges. To date, MNsure has received $155 million in federal aid to fund operations. In 2014 the exchange must be self-sufficient. It will be funded using a withhold of up to 1.5% of the insurance premium paid by consumers. The Board will likely vote on the final percentage at one of two scheduled November meetings.
For additional information on MNsure please use the link: http://www.mnsure.org/