MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A week from Monday is the deadline for signing up for insurance under Obamacare.

Despite early problems, the state of Minnesota’s health exchange, MNsure, says it is seeing a huge surge of people signing up.

MNsure says by March 31 it expects to have enrolled 135,000 Minnesotans. Officials at the health exchange say despite early problems with its website, it is now signing up 1,000 Minnesotans a day.

MNsure reports greater than expected success getting low-income earners to sign up. But the number of people signing up for commercial plans continues to be significantly below projections. And that is a problem because a key funding source for MNsure comes from the sale of those private plans.

Critics warn this will leave taxpayers on the hook to keep the program afloat. Scott Leitz, the interim CEO of MNsure appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“We do think we will see an uptick in this last week of enrollment — the people who are likely to put off getting into coverage are likely those who are coming into commercial policies and so we do anticipate by the time fall rolls around, we will have good outreach plans and we will get that stability that you talk about in the private market,” he said.

Anyone who does not have insurance by the March 31 deadline will have to pay a tax penalty of $95 or 1 percent of their income and will have to wait until later this year for the next open enrollment period.

And while MNsure is expressing satisfaction with its current enrollment pace, critics say they find it hard to believe at this rate MNsure will enroll its goal of 1.2 million Minnesotans by 2016.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.


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