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Technical glitches cause MNsure renewal backlog to rise to 180,000

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A technical glitch at MNsure has led to a backlog for 180,000 people whose health insurance has not automatically renewed.

The Star Tribune said that Minnesota's health insurance exchange disclosed problems in May, when about 55,000 cases of Medicaid and MinnesotaCare insurance renewals were held up by "technical problems."

This backlog has now grown to 180,000, which has contributed to problems collecting premiums for MinnesotaCare (the state's publicly-subsidized healthcare program) and making sure that those who are covered by public health insurance programs actually qualify for them.

Although nobody has lost coverage as a result of the delay, the Forum News Service reports that MinnesotaCare patients are now concerned they will be hit with a bill for their premiums and any medical care they have had in recent months all at once.

Department of Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson told the news service that all back payments must be met by patients, but they will look to be fair when considering those who have been victims of the billing glitch.

MNsure was set up in 2013 in response to the Federal Affordable Care Act, giving Minnesotans the option of using the exchange to buy commercial health insurance, and giving those who quality to opportunity to enroll in public health insurance programs.

But its launch was beset by glitches that saw people struggle to sign-up. It has recently come under fire from Republican lawmakers who want to scrap the state-run exchange and replace it with one provided through the federal government, KARE 11 reports.

According to MPR, the Department of Human Service has said it intends to cancel the subscriptions of 60,000 people Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare out of the 180,000 affected by the backlog, unless they respond to requests for information.

Notices are being sent out by the DHS to see whether those enrolled in the public health plans are still eligible for them, with people given 30 days to respond.

The DHS told MPR that it hopes to have cleared the 180,000 case backlog by Aug. 31.

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