After chaotic start, day 2 of MNsure open enrollment went better

Scott Peterson and Allison O'Toole of MNsure.
Scott Peterson and Allison O'Toole of MNsure field questions during a press conference Tuesday.
Sam Harper for MPR News

Minnesotans trying to use MNsure had an easier time of it on day two.

Calls to the MNsure hotline returned to more typical levels Wednesday — a day after the health insurance exchange was swamped with what DFL Gov. Mark Dayton called "robocalls."

On the second day of open enrollment, the MNsure Contact Center had received 4,100 calls by late afternoon. For people who got through to a representative, the average wait time was 6 minutes.

MNsure officials said the call volume was similar to past experience.

In contrast, officials were sent scrambling Tuesday as more than 80,000 call attempts bombarded the MNsure helpline. Officials say they continue to investigate the source of the calls.

People looking for help Tuesday were on hold more than a half hour due to the onslaught of calls.

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The agency says more than 8,700 Minnesotans have enrolled in health coverage in the first two days of open enrollment.

People trying to use the agency's website Monday were unable to access a comparison shopping tool much of the day. MNsure's software had a disastrous roll-out in its 2014 debut. But Scott Peterson, chief business technology officer of the state's IT operation, said Tuesday the problem wasn't confined to MNsure Monday.

"That outage," he said, "actually affected 70 sites statewide including multiple agency sites. We are continuing to investigate that as well. The sites are back online."

The enrollment period continues through Jan. 31.

Correction (Nov. 2, 2016): An earlier version of the story included incorrect information for when open enrollment began.