ROCHESTER, Minn. — Monday was known as “MNsure Enrollment Day” thanks to a declaration by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton last week. Events are taking place all over the state for some last minute sign-ups.
Blaine Martin is in a situation of enroll for insurance through MNsure or have no insurance at all.
“I work for a small, start-up restaurant, local business and there’s only about 12 or 15 employees so they’re not offering health insurance at this time,” Martin said.
So he stopped by the United Way of Olmsted County for a little bit of help signing up.
“I just thought it’d be a more definite way, I’m sure that somebody’s going to help me, I’m going to get signed up for this, I’m not going to have any technical issues hopefully,” Martin said.
He was there just in time. The 11:59 p.m. deadline to sign up was just around the corner.
“We’re going to wrap the day up, it’s ‘March to Enroll,’ ‘March to Midnight,’ the last push for folks to sign up for health coverage here in Minnesota,” said MNsure Southeast Region Community Outreach Liaison Jacob Grippen.
If you wait beyond the deadline, you risk getting a federal fine. That was one reason MNsure representatives were working so hard to make sure everyone had a chance to sign up.
The United Way was one of three stops. They were there until 4:30 p.m. They also stopped at the Rochester Public Library from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and the Heintz Center on the Rochester Community and Technical College Campus from 9 p.m. to midnight.
While they have been having people sign up for coverage in flocks.
“We’ve been averaging about 1,000 or more sign-ups a day. As of Friday we had 152,000 plus folks sign up through the exchange,” Grippen said.
They tried to squeeze in a bit more before it was too late.
“It’s really heartwarming, really exciting to see folks sign up and be relieved that they’re secure and will be able to go preemptively to the hospital rather than have to go to the emergency room,” Grippen said.
While Martin was a bit hesitant at first, he was glad this health care coverage is even an option.
“I hadn’t really thought I needed the insurance but now that the law’s been passed and I’m realizing I’m not invincible, I’m going to have health issues sometime,” Martin said.
The last chance to sign up is before midnight, but MNsure leaders recently announced that if you are attempting to sign up by the deadline you can get an extension.