MNsure extends enrollment deadline to Dec. 31

CEO Scott Leitz
MNsure Chairman Brian Beutner, left, listens as interim CEO Scott Leitz speaks during a press conference Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, in Minneapolis. Leitz took over Wednesday after the resignation of April Todd-Malmlov. She faced criticism over complications with insurance sign-ups under the federal health care law.
Glen Stubbe/The Star Tribune via AP

MNsure is giving people eight more days to enroll in health care coverage.

Anyone who signs up by Dec. 31 will have coverage starting on Jan. 1, interim MNsure Executive Director Scott Leitz said Friday on MPR News' Daily Circuit show. The original day to pick a plan was Dec. 23.

Officials extended the deadline partly because technical problems with the MNsure website have kept many people from signing up for a policy, he said.

"It doesn't solve the problems with the website either," Leitz said of the extension. "There still are issues there."

Scott Leitz
Scott Leitz was named MNsure's interim CEO after executive director April Todd-Malmlov resigned earlier this week.
Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News

MNsure customers will have until Jan. 10 to pay for a plan.

Even if someone picks a plan on time, they may not be in their insurer's system for a few more days, Leitz said.

People shouldn't expect to have their insurance ID card immediately, but customers will be covered retroactively, Leitz added.

He said MNsure will be communicating this to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors.

"The services that they are providing will be paid for," Leitz said.

Fixing the website remains a work in progress.

One of the site's subcontractors has started a "tech surge" to try to solve some of the ongoing problems, Leitz said.

MNsure has dealt with some challenges, he added, "and we're going to have some ongoing challenges into the near future with the site."