By Pat Kessler

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota’s health exchange MNsure is reporting a generally “glitch free” launch of its open enrollment period. MNsure says it enrolled 518 people over the weekend.

That’s a lot different from a year ago, when the new MNsure site could not handle the volume of consumers during the sign up period.

“There were no major glitches that we’re aware of,” said MNsure CEO Scott Leitz, who took over the website last year during its worst problems. “If they had an experience last year that was sub-optimal, they should come back through. And I think they will find a much better experience this year.”

MNsure says the average wait time this year is 2 minutes, compared to 2 hours last year. And it says it has a goal of signing up 50,000 Minnesotans for 2015.

Public opinion about the new health care law remains divided. Election Day CBS exit polls found 26 percent of voters think it doesn’t go far enough, 25 percent thought it was just about right and nearly half – 46 percent – think it goes too far.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he remains optimistic about MNsure.

“It’s into year 2 and we all have a stake,” said the newly re-elected Democratic Governor. “We all have a stake in making this system work as well as possible.”

Despite their optimism, MNsure executives say two day’s experience is not enough to judge by, but so far, so good.

“It’s just a fundamentally different place,” Leitz said. “A much more stable website, a faster consumer experience and just an overall better consumer experience.”

MNsure’s open enrollment period ends Feb. 15, but if you want coverage for the New Year that begins Jan. 1, 2014, you have to enroll by Dec. 15.

Pat Kessler

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