MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Open enrollment for MNsure started Sunday and officials say it’s off to a good start.

Allison O’Toole, the interim CEO of MNsure, says hundreds of calls came into the call center on the first day, which is about the same amount as last year. The wait times are very short and enrollment is going smoothly, O’Toole says.

Rates are up this year between 14 and 49 percent. Insurance companies say the rate hike is needed to cover increased medical costs. The exchange is touting tax credits to help soothe sticker shock.

“Financial help, help that’s available only through MNsure, can help lessen or in some cases completely eliminate these premium increases,” O’Toole said.

There are about 100 plans to choose from. Open enrollment runs through Jan. 31.

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