Callers swamp MNsure hotline

If you called MNsure's hotline for help on Tuesday, you likely heard a busy signal.

Callers have overwhelmed the online insurance marketplace's contact center, which has a capacity of 300 calls at any one time. MNsure officials say the lines were busy right away when the center opened Tuesday morning.

Consumers have until Midnight tonight Tuesday to select a plan and a payment method for coverage that starts Wednesday. Otherwise, individuals have until Jan. 15 to obtain coverage that starts Feb. 1.

MNsure officials say individual consumers who don't qualify for premium tax credits, should call insurers directly.

Consumers have until March 31 to obtain coverage in order to avoid a penalty under the federal health care law.

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