New contractor Optum to dig into MNsure flubs - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

New contractor Optum to dig into MNsure flubs

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Minnesota's health marketplace faces another major deadline on March 31, and its website still isn't up to par. On Thursday, a legislative oversight committee will take a closer look at MNsure's flubs as applicants continue to look for answers.

MNsure is hiring another consultant to figure out why things went so terribly wrong.

To sit through a MNsure board meeting, it's easy to miss the forest from the trees, and just outside their door are people like Ray Young who still don't have health insurance.

With a still glitchy website, and 50-minute wait times through their call center, MNsure is now talking about resorting to old fashioned paper applications. MNsure has now hired Eden Prairie-based consultant Optum, a division of United Health, to offer a top to bottom review of what went wrong with MNsure's rollout, and why.

So far, MNsure has paid out $25 million to its contractors. $8 million to IBM and $4.7 million to Maximus, a company once paid $30 million to settle Medicaid fraud charges. Maximus had overall responsibility for MNsure technology, or so everyone thought.

However, what MNsure hasn't disclosed until recently is that MNsure changed that contract with Maximus way back in May. Essentially, MNsure has been responsible for its own mess.

Fox9 9 obtained a copy of the amended contracts with Maximus and a billing sheet, which shows $5 million in payments to Maximus for testing the MNsure web site. And yet, no one could tell us today whether there was actually a "live" test.

So many questions, so few answers, so much finger pointing. And so many people like Young, still uninsured.

"It's a big deal and I'm going to try," Young said.

So far, 72,000 people have signed up for insurance coverage through MNsure, about a third of those are getting private insurance, the rest are on public plans.

The next big deadline is March 31. People who don't have health insurance after that face a penalty. No word yet, on when paper applications may be available.

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