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Minnesota in better place than most states as open enrollment begins today



Enrollment period cut in half this year, though MN lasts a month longer

When it comes to health insurance, Minnesota is in a slightly different place today than most states.

As one of the few states that started its own health insurance exchange – MnSure – under the Affordable Care Act, people in Minnesota have longer to enroll in an individual health plan.

“We’re lucky to live in Minnesota,” CEO Allison O’Toole said. “We have our own state exchange. That means we control things at the state level.”

Minnesotans will also learn more about health coverage and have more people guiding choices. But, not everything is perfect.

“We need long-term solutions for consumers,” O’Toole said of market stability. “So, looking for that from the legislature but I do think we’ve got stability now and that’s really good, especially for those Minnesotans on the individual market.”

Open enrollment on exchanges starts today. The enrollment period has been cut in half for most states, with a deadline of Dec. 15. In Minnesota, however, the deadline is Jan. 14.

MnSure has struggled at times to enroll enough people. Some insurers have backed out of offering plans on the state exchange, as well.

O’Toole, however, insists MnSure is experiencing stability now that other states might envy considering the uncertainty in the Affordable Care Act.

“We are seeing our markets stabilizing this year,” she said. “So, many Minnesotans are going to see rates flat for this year or even a little decrease.”

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