Archived Story

More work ahead for MNsure following sobering tech update

Published 10:21am Thursday, June 19, 2014

ST. PAUL — Consultants told the board that governs Minnesota’s health insurance exchange Wednesday that a lot of work is needed to get the troubled system ready for open enrollment in November.

MNsure hired Deloitte Consulting LLP for $5 million in April to be its new general contractor and provide a roadmap for overhauling the state’s online health care marketplace.

Brian Keane, a principal with Deloitte, and project manager Sally Fingar gave MNsure’s directors a sobering initial diagnosis.

They said they didn’t find any significant problems with the blueprints for the system but said 41 important items aren’t working properly or aren’t in place yet and need to be addressed before open enrollment. Keane ssaid MNsure will need to have contingency plans in place to process applications and do other work manually — on paper — if the computerized systems aren’t ready.

“I wish we could tell you today that it’s all on track, it’s all going to be delivered systematically by November 15th. … However, from experience I think it would be poor of us to start planning that all of this would be delivered systematically. There will be a heavy reliance on manual intervention,” Keane said.

The consultants said the three most important computerized components that haven’t been rolled out online yet are: the ability to handle changes in consumers’ life circumstances that affect their eligibility and coverage needs, such as the birth of a child; the ability to renew coverage for lower-income people now enrolled in the public Medicaid and MinnesotaCare programs; and the ability to renew polices for people who bought them from private insurance companies via MNsure.

“System requirements for some of this functionality have not been finalized,” Deloitte said in one of two written reports released Wednesday. “If this functionality is not implemented on schedule, its absence could have a significant adverse impact on MNsure operations during open enrollment.”

 


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