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MNsure numbers up

Almost 11,000 people have bought health insurance policies through the new state MNsure program.

The politically sensitive program is picking up steam after its Oct. 1 launch. More activity is expected as a Dec. 15 deadline nears to have policies in place by Jan. 1.

Minnesotans may buy policies through through the end of March. They also may call (855) 366-7873 to arrange for in-person help to buy insurance.

Information MNsure released Wednesday shows 42,000 people have visited its website and 28,000 created accounts, a precursor to buying insurance.

People who have created more than half of the accounts would be eligible for some form of federal financial assistance, up to Washington paying the entire bill.

Those on the federal Medicare program cannot use MNsure, but MNsure will be the only way for those on MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance to continue receiving free or low-cost coverage.

In the meantime, just 17 small businesses have completed buying their health care plans. Large businesses are not eligible to use MNsure.

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