MNsure Leaders Unveil New Strategy

Updated: 02/13/2014 6:19 AM By: Katherine Johnson

It's no secret the MNsure call center has struggled. On Wednesday morning, MNsure leaders announced they are adding 50 new staff members to start manning the phone lines immediately and 50 more people to start Feb. 19.

About 92,000 Minnesotans have used MNsure to enroll for health insurance so far, and Interim CEO Scott Leitz says wait times on the phone are down to 5-15 minutes, compared to the hour wait people experienced in November.

As far as IT problems go, 17 percent of users saw error messages on the website six weeks ago. Leitz said Wednesday, in front of House and Senate members on the oversight committee, those experiencing error rates is down to 4-5 percent.

"It was always viewed as a multi-year project to get this to full maturity," MNsure Board Chair Brian Beutner said. "There will be more bumps along the way. That's the nature of a startup and that's really what MNsure is and the board will continue to dig in, weed, push and assist management to make that happen."

MNsure is also adding two major positions to leadership. An operations manager to watch over any and all IT problems in the future, and a communications specialist to help keep Minnesota's health exchange program transparent throughout the process.

"Thousands have been helped, many have had serious problems," said Beutner. "These problems are unacceptable and we apologize to all Minnesotans who have been affected. We know there's a lot more to do before MNsure lives up to it's full potential."

Open enrollment kicks back up in March, so there will be higher call volumes over the next month. MNsure hopes to have most of their IT problems solved by that deadline.