MNsure irons out many launch kinks, logs 5,000 accounts in first week

MNsure's launch was as clumsy as the klutzy Paul Bunyan in its ads.
MNsure's launch was as clumsy as the klutzy Paul Bunyan in its ads.

When MNsure -- the state health insurance marketplace that's Minnesota's take on Obamacare -- went live last Tuesday, it was messy. About half of all users trying to create an account couldn't get past the glitchy identity check step, and many others had to deal with long delays.

But a week later, MNsure has ironed out many of those kinks.

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By Friday, 97 percent of users were able to get through the ID check, the Pioneer Press reported. And better, the site is getting eyeballs: 100,000 hits per hour on day one, and 30,000 to 50,000 an hour the rest of the week.

Though there aren't yet numbers on how many Minnesotans have sprung for coverage, as of Friday, nearly 5,000 people had at least created accounts, per the Pi Press.

That vaults above MNsure executive director April Todd-Malmlov's expectations. "Honestly, I thought we'd be happy with 100," she told the Pi Press.

Of course, MNsure still has some issues. Designer and software engineer Tony Webster pointed out on MinnPost that the site needs to offer users a way to save their progress, and lacks a mobile-specific site for smartphone users.

And the PiPress's Julio Ojeda-Zapata found that for non-English speakers, MNsure suggests the imperfect Google translate.

One example of where this solution goes, er, adrift: the English "Our Assister Network of Agents/Brokers and Navigators... " translates to a Spanish version that means, roughly, "Our Network assister Agents/Brokers and sailors... ." All aboard, Obamacare is setting sail.

"Lives are at stake here," Ojeda-Zapata noted. "Given that fact, it's inexcusable that Minnesota did not have full multi-language capability from the get-go."

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