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Minnesotans deserve better than failed MNsure

To the Editor:
Last week, we learned that MNsure now has a 180,000-case backlog of public-program enrollees who are unable to renew their health coverage. These glitches have left MNsure unable to send bills to thousands of people in order to pay their 2015 premiums, and MNsure is unable to check eligibility information for thousands more, some of whom may be receiving benefits improperly.
This is the latest in a long line of technical failures that have plagued MNsure since the beginning. That’s why I was glad to see Health and Human Services (HHS) Chair Matt Dean and Rep. Greg Davids call for a MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee meeting so we can begin to discuss a path forward and a transition away from the MNsure exchange.
Due to the Supreme Court’s recent Obamacare ruling, Minnesotans who are eligible for premium subsidies under the law are not in danger of losing support if we revert to the federal exchange. With upwards of $300 million already spent on MNsure, why would we continue throwing good money after bad and not just switch over to the federal hub?
Here is a rundown and timeline of the recent glitches:
• July 2014: glitches force 16,000 low-income families to wait as long as six months for coverage (Star Tribune, July 2, 2014).
• July 2014: 3,000 MinnesotaCare recipients sent wrong bills by DHS, some for months (KSTP, July 21, 2014).
• July 2014: DHS incorrectly tells 8,700 MinnesotaCare recipients to renew by Aug. 1, 2014 or coverage would cancel (Pioneer Press, July 28, 2014).
• September 2014: 29,000 on private and public plans waiting months to update coverage through DHS and MNsure for spouses, newborns, other life events (Pioneer Press, Sept. 1, 2014).
• September 2014: DHS indefinitely delays transition of 800,000 insured through public programs to MNsure (Pioneer Press, Sept. 1, 2014).
• November 2014: DHS/MNsure life event backlog grows to 30,000 (Star Tribune, Nov. 4, 2014).
• January 2015: MNsure glitches block 7,500 from enrolling in public programs (Star Tribune, Jan. 13, 2015).
• March 2015: 1,300 still waiting for tax forms from MNsure – one month before tax filing deadline (Star Tribune, March 6, 2015).
• March 2015: MNsure cuts enrollment projections by 68 percent for 2016.
• May 2015: MNsure glitches put coverage for over 55,000 on public programs in question (Star Tribune, May 11, 2015).
• July 2015: 180,000 public program renewals delayed by MNsure glitch; 60,000 threatened with termination of coverage (Star Tribune, July 11, 2015).
Minnesotans deserve better. We can save the state money, and give citizens a better user-experience that MNsure has failed to deliver. It’s time for the governor and DFLers to join with us in these efforts and to be honest that the failed MNsure experiment that they brought to Minnesota needs to come to an end.
State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen
R-Glencoe