Minn. Auditor Calls for Top-to-Bottom Audit of State Exchange

by Andrew Johnson

Minnesota’s top auditor over the state’s spending announced his No 1. priority for this year will be investigating MNsure, the state’s health-care exchange that has been plagued with “many red flags” since its launch. He called for a comprehensive audit to look into elements such as IT security and management structure.

“I think everybody agrees that we simply have not delivered what we promised,” legislative auditor Jim Nobles told KSTP. “There’s going to be a lot to do there.”

Even before MNsure launched on October 1 of last year, Nobles warned in September that the exchange was moving “too fast” to meet a preannounced deadline and not taking the necessary steps to ensure its functionality and security after thousands of Social Security numbers were released. In the ensuing months, MNsure ran into a number of problems, such as miscalculating insurance subsidies and requiring applicants to reapply. Additionally, its executive director stepped down last month after it was learned that she vacationed in Costa Rica for two weeks with the state’s Medicaid director while MNsure was experiencing glitches.

Nobles said Minnesota had experienced similar computer problems with past programs and should have foreseen MNsure’s woes. “I thought we had already learned a lot of lessons from some past failures, but here we are again with one that just didn’t live up to what it was supposed to do,” he said.

Nobles expects the audit to be completed before the end of May.

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