Questions Raised and Assurances Sought Over MNsure

Updated: 09/24/2013 10:25 PM By: Tim Sherno

MNsure, the state's news health insurance exchange, is the center of attention again on Tuesday.

There was an emergency meeting at the State Capitol.  A legislative oversight committee wanted assurances about the security system.

"People are very unsure about MNsure," says Rep. Joe Hoppe (R)District 47B.

"The information security in the MNsure system is truly state of the art," according to Chris Buse, the Chief Information Security Officer.

Some lawmakers say, MNsure is taking on too much, too soon. The result is uncertainty and insecurity, "we spent north of $100 million, people are nervous about this, people are nervous about data going forward," says Hoppe. 

April Todd Malmlov, the Executive Director of MNsure responds, "we know there's anxiety out there we want to do as much as we can to give peace of mind."

In a security breach earlier this month, an employee accidentally released personal information for more than 1,500 people. MNsure is now doing a full security review, "we don't see a list of show stopper issues from a security perspective, until all of the final review is done, I'm reluctant to give the answer that we're good to go at this point," says Buse.

Background checks are being done on all workers.  Staffers are required to complete data privacy training, but not everyone has yet. That matters, because they're already handling sensitive information.

The office of the Legislative Auditor says he's watching closely, "we also need to take a hard look at the increasingly vulnerability, it's inside the state government," says Jim Nobles.

The insurance industry folks at the meeting wanted more safeguards and they got it. MNsure said it would provide credit monitoring for all brokers involved with MNsure. The agency's goal is to get 500,000 Minnesotans signed up for health insurance by January first. That's the federal deadline.

The MNsure employee involved in the breach is no longer with the agency.

KSTP asked someone with knowledge of healthcare management what the concerns expressed Tuesday will mean as the MNsure program rolls out. Kyle Svee, the Healthcare Management Program Chair for Minnesota School of Business, talks about how important it is for there to be no mistakes. Click here to watch that interview.