Skip to main content

MNsure continues to feel heat over call center problems

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

MNsure is taking heat again as the call center for the state's health insurance exchange is being criticized for its continuing problems, the Star Tribune reports.

The paper says a major boost in manpower is still weeks away and the call center remains overwhelmed. Customers reportedly are being placed on hold for 30 minutes or more, while the call center industry standard is reportedly no more than 5 minutes.

Even MNsure board member Tom Forsythe admitted to the Star Tribune that the call center problems are taking "way too long to fix" and the response has been "inadequate."

MinnPost talked with various parties, including MNsure staff and outside experts, about the call center issues. Agency members said the response time has actually improved, although they admit the demand is lighter right now.

Still, at its peak time just before the Jan. 15 enrollment deadline for February coverage, MinnPost found that the call center received 2,500-3,500 calls a day, with wait times of more than an hour. By contrast, the call center reportedly received 1,000-1,700 calls a day the week of Jan. 20, with wait times ranging from 5 minutes to just under 30 minutes, the publication reported.

MinnPost says MNsure's goal in the coming weeks is a customer wait time of 10 to 20 minutes. Eventually they want to reach the industry standard of 2 to 5 minutes.

The president of Customer Elation, one of the largest call center operations in Minnesota, says even a 10-minute hold is considered "a huge failure" by industry standards.

"No business would accept a 10-minute hold as their norm," Pete Hainey told the Star Tribune.

Three companies are vying for an outsourcing contract with MNsure, which the agency is expected to finalize next week. The contract will reportedly allow the addition of 100 external customer service representatives to the staff, which is currently 65 operators strong.

The Star Tribune says the additional operators are expected to be in place by the March 31 deadline to buy insurance under the federal government's Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare." The act requires most Americans to have health insurance by that date, or face penalties.

The state estimated 135,000 consumers would be enrolled in MNsure by the end of March, but only 27,775 have registered so far according to recent data, the Star Tribune reports.

Next Up

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.

snow

Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.

Wilf

Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.

MARCUS ALEXANDER STEICHEN

Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Related