ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Latest on open enrollment beginning for Minnesota shoppers who buy health insurance on their own (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Officials report a smooth start on the first day of open enrollment for Minnesota’s health insurance exchange.

As of late Wednesday afternoon, the exchange said it had already seen more than 40,000 visits to its website. And a year after suspected robocalls tied up phone lines on the opening day of enrollment, call wait times were averaging just one second.

Minnesota is one of just 12 states with its own health insurance exchange — called MNsure — and the state is capitalizing on that autonomy.

Minnesota has extended its open enrollment period to Jan. 14. The state exchange has kept its advertising budget steady from past years, and is still funding enrollment advocates who fan out across the state to help residents sign up. will stay open 24 hours a day through Saturday, Nov. 4.

12:05 a.m.

Open enrollment is beginning and the head of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange says the state is well-positioned to help residents sign up amid federal confusion about health care.

President Donald Trump’s administration has halved this year’s open enrollment period and slashed advertising and outreach budgets for But Minnesota is one of just 12 states with its own health insurance exchange, and the state is capitalizing on that autonomy.

Open enrollment was set to begin Wednesday. MNsure extended its enrollment to last through Jan. 14 and is continuing to fund advertising and enrollment outreach programs.

Exchange chief executive Allison O’Toole says that freedom gives Minnesota the reins.

Premiums are largely stable in Minnesota this year due to a new, $549 million state program to control costs.

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