MNsure gets extra $34M from feds for upgrades

Updated at 3:19 p.m. | Posted at 2:07 p.m.

Minnesota's health insurance exchange will receive up to $34 million from the federal government to accelerate software development and improve consumer assistance.

MNsure has received nearly $190 million from the federal government.

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CEO Scott Leitz said the money will help make the exchange's website more user-friendly. MNsure also will use the money to more quickly tackle technical challenges such as automatically transferring data on people who enroll in private plans to insurance carriers.

"We see it as very positive for Minnesotans because we're going to be able to do a lot of enhancements and on a much more rapid timeframe to be able to aid consumers as they're coming through the system," Leitz said. "We're really excited to have this opportunity to be able to make those improvements."

MNsure officials say the money will not change the agency's goal of enrolling 67,000 people in commercial health insurance plans for 2015. That would enable the MNsure to balance its budget.

As of Tuesday, private-plan enrollment stood at almost 41,704. Open enrollment continues until Feb.15.