Lawmakers Grill MNsure Leaders During Oversight Committee Meeting

Updated: 01/09/2014 7:33 PM By: Cassie Hart

A legislative committee overseeing the rocky rollout of the state’s health exchange gathered for the first time since MNsure went online.

Lawmakers grilled MNsure leaders for hours Thursday and didn't hold back in their questioning. They insisted on knowing what went wrong and when, who knew about it, and what's being done to fix the problems.

MNsure leaders admitted only six of 21 software glitches and security issues have been solved. Many Minnesotans who've tried to enroll remain frustrated by long wait times over the phone.

MNsure's CEO announced changes Wednesday of adding more staff and operators to its call center. They will also accept old-fashioned paper applications to expedite enrollment. MNsure leadership is also considering outsourcing call center work to cut down on hold times.

Enrollment is 85 percent lower than expected, which worries lawmakers who questioned cost overruns and where new revenue would come from.

"There are other alternatives to bring in revenue those haven't been addressed yet and they need to. I do know they're some prohibitions on advertising but we're looking at getting revenue if Minnesotans benefit from the programs we're creating," MNsure board chair Brian Buetner said.

By state law MNsure will have to be self-sufficient within a year.