MNsure lures more micro employersNews added by Benefits Pro on April 17, 2014

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Allison Bell

Minnesota’s state exchange is having better luck attracting very small employers rather than larger prospects.

Managers of MNsure have published detailed monthly Small Business Health Options Program sales and enrollment figures for January through April in a new board meeting packet.

The open enrollment period for individual commercial plan coverage started Oct. 1 and ended March 31.

Employers with one to 50 employees, or the equivalent, can set up SHOP plans at any time of year.

MNsure has now signed 144 employees with a total of 1,070 eligible employees.

The average take-up rate is 68 percent. A MNsure planner reported in 2012 that the average health coverage take-up rate for employers with 1 to 49 employees was 77 percent.

About 90 percent of the employers using MNsure SHOP coverage have 1 to 10 employees. Only about 10 percent have 11 to 50 employees.

In 2013, only about 79 percent of uninsured employees at small employers worked at employers with just 1 to 10 employees. The rest worked at employers with 11 to 50 employees.

Only 62 percent of all Minnesota small-employer employees worked at employers with 1 to 10 employees.

The MNsure SHOP data also suggest that more recent SHOP plan enrollees may be more likely to choose mid-level gold or silver coverage rather than rich platinum coverage.

In January, 63 percent of the enrollees signed up for platinum coverage, 12 percent for bronze coverage, and 25 percent for gold or silver coverage.

In April, just 19 percent chose platinum coverage, 15 percent chose bronze coverage, and 67 percent chose mid-level coverage.

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