MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – MNsure calls Saturday’s open enrollment a big improvement from what happened last year.

As of 3 p.m., 201 people had signed up for health insurance.

On average, customers waited for help a little more than one minute. Last year, the average wait was more than two hours. 

But some people still had trouble getting through.

For Tim Butler, when MNsure works, it’s a life saver.

“I have Type 1 diabetes,” he said. “I can’t not have insurance, and I’m doing everything I can to get insurance.”

He said he first tried to get health insurance through MNsure in October 2013, when he was laid off from his job in the pharmaceutical industry. It took five months of his persistence, he said, but he finally got covered under Preferred One.

After Preferred One backed out of MNsure for 2015, Butler said he was optimistic about logging on Saturday to shop around.

But he ran into another technical problem and unresolved issues surrounding his enrollment from last year.

“It shouldn’t be this tough to try to pay money,” he said.

This time someone answered his call immediately, saying there should be a resolution for him in about two weeks.

MNsure’s CEO Scott Leitz said overall the sign-up process is working better than ever.

“We fully anticipate there will be, here and there, some issues that people might run into,” he said, “What we are finding is that the site itself is faster, more stable. People are able to create accounts and come in and purchase coverage”

Butler hopes that’ll be the case for him by Dec. 15, the deadline to sign up for coverage as of Jan. 1, 2015.

When he was covered through MNsure, he said he got an affordable premium and a helpful tax credit but, most importantly, peace of mind.

A MNsure representative said they would look into Butler’s case as soon as the call centers open back up Sunday morning.

A recent University of Minnesota report shows about 5 percent of Minnesotans are still without health insurance.

 

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