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MNsure says sign-ups hit 113,000

December 17, 2018

Health plan selections hit the 113,000 mark on Saturday at MNsure, as the first deadline for 2019 coverage through the health exchange came shortly after a Texas judge’s ruling to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

State officials on Saturday said there would be no immediate impact on consumers from the ruling, although it raises questions about the future of the federal law that launched MNsure as well as subsidies for many who buy coverage through exchanges for all 50 states.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement saying the court’s decision is not an injunction that halts the enforcement of the law, so the agency would continue administering and enforcing the federal health law.

“We are excited that more than 113,000 Minnesotans have already signed up for comprehensive coverage through MNsure.org during our smoothest open enrollment to-date” said Nate Clark, the MNsure chief executive, in a Monday statement.

Last year, MNsure enrolled 108,540 people in private health plans as of the first sign-up deadline during open enrollment. Comparisons aren’t straightforward, however, since the exchange this year is reporting the number of people who have picked a plan vs. the number enrolled in plan.

Enrollment tallies typically would be lower than sign-ups, because the enrollment figure “removes the count of individuals who have contacted us to cancel coverage,” MNsure said last week in a statement. The comparison is noteworthy because the federal government in 2019 won’t be enforcing the ACA’s mandate for individual to have health insurance, which apparently is a factor in reduced sign-ups in other states.

Open enrollment at MNsure continues until Jan. 13. People who sign-up for coverage now can purchase health plans that take effect Feb. 1.

MNsure is a government-run website that people can use to shop for individual insurance policies, which provide coverage to people under age 65 who are self-employed or don’t get health insurance from their employer.

On Friday, state officials said sign-up tallies were running ahead of last year’s pace, suggesting that consumers were responding to lower premiums in the state’s individual health insurance market.

Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744 Twitter: @chrissnowbeck

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