MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – MNsure is releasing some tips they hope will help frustrated Minnesotans troubleshoot through its health insurance marketplace website.
John Schadl, spokesman for MNsure, says they have gathered several common questions that operators at their call center are asked daily.
The original deadline for enrollment was Monday, Dec. 23, but that deadline was extended to Dec. 31 after complaints of ongoing challenges that people faced while trying to enroll under the new federal health care law.
Some people complained of non-functioning web pages and long wait times on its toll-free helpline. The Associated Press reports 1,000 people had to re-enroll after being notified that they didn’t qualify for federal subsidies when they actually did.
“We’re working hard to get our site as functional as we can for as many people as we can, but right now we’ve got some issues to work through,” Schadl said.
He says small mistakes, like typing an extra space in a phone number or using an incompatible internet browser, are causing the delays. They also recommend people use a PC or laptop when signing up and avoid using a phone or tablet.
“Hopefully this will save people from having to be on hold for quite a while to find out they can hit the control button and minus to shrink the screen and see the ‘enroll’ button,” he said.
On Monday, Gov. Mark Dayton met with representatives from IBM. The company created some of the eligibility and income verification software on MNsure’s website, an area where they’ve had a lot of software difficulties.
“IBM has committed to bring in 80 to 100 people between now and the end of the year to both help us with the backlog which some of these computer issues have created,” Schadl said. “And also help get that code fixed and whipped into shape so people can use the software, and use the MNsure website the best way possible.”
MNsure says that as of Monday afternoon, the number of completed applications for insurance coverage is 47,753.
Online applications make up the vast majority of submissions, with 45,558, while only 2,195 paper applications have been received.