ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State officials are reminding Minnesotans to sign up through the state's health insurance exchange by December 15th to ensure they're covered at the start of the New Year.

MNsure is preparing for a rush of web traffic ahead of the Monday deadline, increasing call center hours to handle consumers looking to avoid a lapse in coverage.

February 15th is the deadline to get insurance for the year to satisfy the federal health law's mandate.

CEO Scott Leitz discussed the deadline in a conference call Thursday.

He says consumers should sign up as soon as possible to head off any potential problems while enrolling.

More than 30,000 Minnesotans have signed up through MNsure since open enrollment began November 15th, including nearly 13,000 in private plans.