Barkhad Abdi and Faysal Ahmed, who skyrocketed to stardom for their portrayals of Somali pirates, are scheduled for a 5:30 appearance at the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis, where they will talk about the value of health insurance.
People under age 34 are considered key to the long-term financial health of online insurance exchanges like MNsure. Its leaders are going to universities, breweries and bars to find them.
Minnesotans who want private health coverage starting April 1 have until 5 p.m. Saturday to enroll and pay for plans through the state's online health insurance marketplace, MNsure.
MNsure leaders estimate MNsure will have about $40 million in expenses but take in about $35 million in revenue next year.
MNsure officials are encouraging Minnesotans to use the insurance exchange's website to select and purchase health coverage in the remaining weeks of open enrollment. Most Minnesotans have until March 31st to buy coverage or pay a penalty.
The rush to meet the March 31 deadline is expected to rival if not surpass MNsure's crush of web traffic from last December as procrastinators rush to not only sign up for coverage but also avoid the federal health care law's financial penalty.
The two-year prime vendor contract requires the winning bidder to ensure MNsure meets deadlines, stays within budget, and meets quality benchmarks.
Under the federal health care law, most Americans who don't obtain insurance by March 31 will face a financial penalty, but that's not all.
State Health Economist Stefan Gildemeister was encouraged that a majority of uninsured Minnesotans knew they were required to obtain insurance in 2014.
Beginning Wednesday, the health insurance exchange will start running ads featuring Minnesotans who found less expensive coverage on MNsure.
Internal documents and interviews with insurance company officials, county workers and other stakeholders reveal a more complicated story of MNsure's problems than the explanations offered by management.
The MNsure Board approved spending up to $750,000 for the temporary workers. MNsure interim CEO Scott Leitz told the agency's board members the cost could be covered within the existing MNsure budget.
Optum, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth, performed a week-long analysis that found the project suffers from a lack of good management.
Company officials say offering part-time workers insurance could make many of them ineligible for federal subsidies that could reduce their cost of coverage.
Before MNsure, the state's new online health insurance marketplace, there was HealthMatch. "It was a complete failure," said longtime state Rep. Tom Huntley, a DFLer from Duluth. "We hired a company to manage it and set it up ... and nothing ever happened."