MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The new federal health care law says everyone must be signed up by midnight Monday, or face a penalty.
In Minnesota, MNsure is moving quickly to enroll as many people as possible over the weekend. Already this week, MNsure ramped up recruiting at more than 1,000 signup events.
Gov. Mark Dayton declared Friday “MNsure Enrollment Day.”
Scott Leitz, the acting CEO of MNsure, who rescued the website from its rocky rollout, says 150,000 Minnesotans have already signed up. That number is less than the one originally projected, but still solid.
“To get a 150,000 plus, with still some time left for open enrollment, we think is good progress,” Leitz said. “And we want to continue to improve on that, and really make the system even better for Minnesotans moving into the fall.”
MNsure is expecting high volume over the weekend, and for anyone who can’t get through, there’s an “enrollment attempt form” to prove they tried.
MNsure has also recruited Barkhad Abdi, the Minnesota actor who starred in the film “Captain Phillips,” to endorse the healthcare exchange in Somali and English.
Republican critics are ramping up, too.
They want MNsure rolled back, or repealed. They predict higher premiums ahead.
“But if we don’t stop this now, it’s going to continue hurting Minnesotans,” said Sen. Michelle Benson (R – Ham Lake).
There’s a penalty if you don’t sign up for health insurance. It’s $95 or 1 percent of your income, whichever is higher.
MNsure is open for business until 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday – the day of the deadline – it’s open until midnight.
MNsure says it estimates about 20 percent of MNsure signups are “young invincibles” — young people who believe they’ll never get sick or injured.