When Jennifer Slafter first ran the numbers, she thought the new federal health care law would cost her family an extra $171 a month for an insurance plan with a higher deductible. So the 40-year-old stay-home mom from southeastern Minnesota felt compelled to go public with her frustration.
The pace of signups for health insurance through MNsure increased by nearly 50 percent from its first month to its second, according to figures released Wednesday. With the Jan. 1 start of coverage under the federal health law now less than a month away, MNsure officials said 24,586 individual Minnesotans have completed the enrollment process.
Standing at the front of a small classroom on the fourth floor of St. Paul’s library, Maureen O’Connell attempted to help the five people at the “MNsure Crash Course” understand how federal health care reform affects their lives.
Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is teaming up with grocery store chain Cub Foods to spread the word about enrolling in insurance coverage. Shoppers at Cub’s dozens of Minnesota locations will find consumer brochures and fact sheets for MNsure in store pharmacies.
“One of the principles of the Affordable Care Act is that everybody has good insurance,” said Dan McLaughlin, director of the Center for Health and Medical Affairs at the University of St. Thomas. “When you start pulling apart the insurance, all of the sudden you have inadequate insurance.”
Minnesota has rejected President Obama’s offer to delay some canceled insurance policies for a year under the new health law. The President was trying to make good on a promise that “if you like your policy, you can keep it.” Now, millions are finding themselves in limbo, including here in Minnesota.
Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday that Minnesota will not allow people to keep existing insurance plans for another year, despite President Barack Obama’s plan to allow it.
Six of Minnesota’s eight members of Congress Friday voted for a bill to allow insurance companies to sell policies to anyone who wants them, even if it violates the new Obamacare rules.
Paul and Babe are back in new TV ads from Minnesota’s health insurance exchange. MNsure, the state portal for delivering federal health insurance changes, has been employing mythical Minnesota icons Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in a series of spots that playfully describe the state as the “Land of 10,000 Reasons to Get Health Insurance.”In one new ad, which starts airing statewide next week, the plaid-shirted Paul finds himself partially submerged in a freezing lake after an ice fishing mishap. Two other Paul and Babe ads that previously only aired online have also started airing on statewide television. Those two ads feature Paul in a pair of disastrous doctor visits.
Why is Minnesota ahead of the pack?
Minnesota’s legislative auditor says leaders of the state’s new health insurance exchange could have done more to prevent the disclosure of Social Security numbers of about 1,600 insurance agents.
Almost 11,000 people have signed up for insurance through Minnesota’s online exchange in its first month of operation.
Friday is the one-month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, widely known as “Obamacare.” The rollout of the federal health care website has been fraught with problems. And while Minnesota’s health care website MNsure isn’t glitch free, it’s running much smoother than HealthCare.gov. Minnesota’s one of 16 states and the District of Columbia that set up their own health care exchanges.
Over the past month, people trying to apply for health insurance through the federal exchange encountered major problems on the healthcare.gov website. On Tuesday, President Obama addressed the situation, saying, “No one is more frustrated about that than I am.”
Minnesota’s health insurance exchange has received a $41 million federal government grant to continue the exchange’s rollout. Officials of the exchange, known as MNsure, announced the Health and Human Services grant on Thursday. MNsure had applied for $45 million.