MNsure town hall message: Brace yourselves for the information deluge, Minnesota

Several DFL legislators and the head of the upcoming online insurance marketplace, MNsure, tried to explain the federal health care law as part of a town hall meeting last night in Minneapolis.

Saundra Crump, of Minneapolis, thought they put too high a gloss on what will be a major change. "Quit talking to us like it's going to be some cakewalk," she said. "At least explain it like childbirth: it's going to be painful, it's going to be awful, but you're going to get a baby at the end."

The group told the audience that the cost of health plan premiums will be available Oct. 1 for plans that will take effect in January 2014. They said Minnesotans should prepare for a deluge of mass media campaigns, coming in mid-August, to explain how the law will work.

April Todd-Malmlov, MNsure executive director, told the audience that both the state and the federal government will be putting out ads at the same time next month.

"We may actually have some doubling of media in Minnesota, compared to some other states, because we are the only state-based exchange in the Midwest," she said. "And all of the states surrounding us are federal exchange states. So on our borders, we may be getting double the messaging and marketing than others are getting."

EDITOR'S NOTE:An earlier version of this story misspelled Saundra Crump's name. The current version is correct.

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