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Continued: Applicants stuck in MNsure's gears

Broker Heidi Michaels said she has started advising clients to keep current health plans and try in January to log back into MNsure for coverage starting Feb. 1.

“We’re kind of reaching panic status now,” said Michaels, who works at the Dyste Williams agency in St. Louis Park. “There’s just no time left. No time to send invoices, no time to send in payments, there are different deadlines for MNsure and the carriers. Even getting a question answered is almost impossible because wait times are so long at the call-in center.”

To try to resolve the issues, IT specialists have been meeting daily at MNsure. But it still involves entering and checking ­information by hand.

“When we know someone has chosen us, they’re getting enrolled promptly … It’s not as though everything is in a big queue-up,” said Andrea Walsh, HealthPartners executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “One of the challenges is to reassure people to be patient and call back.”

Swenson, who is uninsured now, is getting nervous. Twice she suffered falls that required medical observation. One arm still has problems, and she acknowledges she probably would have received treatment for it already if she had insurance.

Some people have advised her to cancel the pending application and start over. But she sees that as a last resort.

“I was just wary of doing that because I don’t know for sure if that is the right thing to do,” she said. “And it took me hours to to do in the first place.”

jeremy.olson@startribune.com• 612-673-7744

jcrosby@startribune.com • 612-673-7335

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