Legislator wants more time for people hit by MNsure delays

A Republican legislator who has advocated dismantling MNsure now says that people who had trouble getting through to the state-run health insurance marketplace before last Monday's deadline should have another chance to sign up.

People trying to use MNsure's help line experienced long wait times Monday. MNsure blamed the problem on a snowstorm in Illinois, which caused unexpected absences at an overflow call center that backs up its help line.

Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, said that given the call center issues, people who tried to meet Monday's deadline to enroll for coverage effective Jan. 1 should be given another chance to sign up.

"These people made a good faith effort to get on and get coverage," he said. "Let's help them out. That's all I'm saying."

Davids has been one of the most outspoken critics of MNsure. He said the call center problems are more evidence that the health exchange should be dismantled and Minnesotans should be sent to the federal website Healthcare.gov to shop for plans.

MNsure officials said they're trying to determine an appropriate solution. They also said some politicians "try to cause problems rather than find solutions." Davids called that statement "outrageous."

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