Auditor, Computer Analyst to Testify to MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee

Updated: 01/09/2014 7:47 AM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson



In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, MNsure contact center representatives specialist Carlos Villanueva, left, and guide Emily Joyce work in one many cubicles at the center in St. Paul, Minn.
In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, MNsure contact center representatives specialist Carlos Villanueva, left, and guide Emily Joyce work in one many cubicles at the center in St. Paul, Minn.
Photo: Photo: AP/Jim Mone, File

Thursday is a crucial day for MNsure. For the first time in nearly four months, the board created to oversee the health insurance program will come together, and there are a lot of problems still plaguing the website – some of which 5 EYEWITNESS News exposed.

Important testimony is expected to come from a computer analyst that KSTP partnered with to show the security problems with MNsure’s website. Mark Lanterman of Computer Forensic Services will discuss the vulnerability and the state’s delayed response when he testifies before lawmakers on the committee.

We’re also expecting to hear from James Nobles, the state’s legislative auditor who oversees government spending in Minnesota. On Sunday, we broke the story that Nobles will be auditing MNsure. We are expecting to learn more about what exactly that audit will entail.

The rollout of the insurance program has faced several problems. Minnesotans have been complaining about long wait times; some have waited an hour or more on hold to talk to someone on the phone, and others can’t enroll online at all. It appears that MNsure is now working to fix those issues.

The MNsure board met on Wednesday. They acknowledged these problems and outlined plans to fix them. Because of all the website glitches, MNsure will now allow more paper applications, and they have also brought on an outside firm associated with UnitedHealthcare to look over MNsure’s operations and recommend any fixes.

Finally, MNsure leadership is considering outsourcing call center work to cut down on hold times. During Wednesday’s meeting, MNsure CEO Scott Leitz said he welcomes a review from the state’s auditor.

"He obviously has a great deal of interest in making sure the work we do here is a wise use, the best use of taxpayers’ dollars as possible,” Leitz said. “That’s his job, and we respect that greatly."