BLOOMINGTON -- From a tiny storefront at Mall of America, Susan Larson helps shoppers ship packages around the world. But while the boxes she sends have insurance, Susan's son does not.
"It's a mess," Larson said.
Laid off last winter, Susan tried to get health coverage through the state run health exchange MNsure. But after weeks of glitches with the website and a five-hour phone call spent on hold, Susan gave up. Now she's on Medical Assistance and Drew, a college freshman, is uninsured.
"They need to figure out the kinks," Larson said. "People are getting frustrated."
That's one reason volunteers are encouraging Minnesotans, saying Mnsure is still the best chance for many to get affordable health coverage. At a press event in south Minneapolis Saturday, several people said Mnsure, for them, has been excellent, not at all the failure some have said it is.
"(Before MNsure), I had to pay out of pocket completely," Anne Marie Lund told a crowd at Southside Community Health Services in Minneapolis. "Now my office visits are covered."
"We can't let that chatter dissuade us from what we know is a good product," said Glenda Dewberry Rooney, a professor in the Augsburg College Department of Social Work.
Back at the mall, Susan Larson agrees. Despite its problems, she says she believes in MNsure for herself and for others, hoping the website can be fixed, and that health care can as well.
"I've never been without healthcare," Larson said. "I can't remember the last time I've been without healthcare. It's scary."
Enrollment deadlines have now been extended to the end of March.
But if you want coverage to start by Feb. 1, the cutoff is Jan. 15.