MNsure struggles to sign up small businesses

Insurance agents who help small companies say several factors are at play

Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is having a big problem with attracting small businesses.

MNsure was originally expected to cover 155,000 people in small-group plans by next year. The Star Tribune reports that number was only 1,405 earlier this month.

Insurance agents who help small companies cover their employees say several factors are at play, including a computer system they say is slow and cumbersome and can’t complete the full enrollment process online.

MNsure’s chief operating officer, Katie Burns, says the exchange has a plan to grow small business enrollment. She says MNsure has had to focus its resources so far on people who use the exchange for non-group coverage.

A health policy researcher at the University of Chicago, Jon Gabel, says other states are struggling with similar issues.

   Information from: Star Tribune,
   AP-WF-05-25-15 1806GMT