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MNsure still working on way to track health insurance purchases

The health exchange is “working on identifying a reporting mechanism and a schedule for reporting that makes sense,” a spokewoman said.

MNsure, which has faced technical glitches since its launch Tuesday, doesn’t currently have the capability to measure how many actually enroll in coverage on the state-based heath insurance exchange.

“People have enrolled,” MNsure spokeswoman Jenni Bowring-McDonough said. “We just can’t say how many, because we are working on identifying a reporting mechanism and a schedule for reporting that makes sense.”

Bowring-McDonough, who said the issue is something MNsure is “working on now,” also confirmed the exchange is continuing to experience problems allowing users to sign up for accounts to purchase insurance.

As of Thursday afternoon, about 4,200 Minnesotans had created accounts to purchase coverage through the exchange. The site was averaging about 30,000 website hits an hour, and the call center had received about 470 calls that day.

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MinnPost was still unable to get into the system on Friday morning. April Todd-Malmlov, MNsure’s executive director, told reporters on Tuesday evening that the issue was being fixed.

About half of users were affected by the problem, she said then, but it’s unclear how widespread the problem remains.

Stephen Parente, a University of Minnesota professor and expert on health economics and insurance, said in an email Thursday that it is “absolutely essential” that MNsure measures enrollment data.

He called such information “the metric of success for all exchanges.”

MNsure’s board has previously requested that exchange staff provide detailed information and numbers about how MNsure is working, and such data would almost certainly include enrollment information.

Bowring McDonough, who said the issues with reporting enrollment data were internal to MNsure and not problems with the federal system, said the exchange has different levels of enrollment targets.