Optum report: No complete MNsure fix by March 31 deadline - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

No complete MNsure fix by March 31 deadline

Posted: Updated:
  • Melissa's HealthworksMore>>

  • How to reduce those food allergies

    How to reduce those food allergies

    Monday, July 14 2014 4:28 PM EDT2014-07-14 20:28:55 GMT
    Ask the DoctorAsk the Doctor
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
    The number of allergies is skyrocketing. Some reports show as many as one-in-five Americans is allergic to something, including different types of food. The important question is: Is there anyway to reduce this obnoxious and potentially life-changing problem?
  • A surprising health boost

    A surprising health boost

    Monday, July 14 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-14 18:56:08 GMT
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
    Doctors often say your "gut" is the gateway to health. If it's healthy, chances are you are healthy. That's why it's important to know about a condition called "leaky gut" that can cause all kinds of issues.
  • Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Eating fish can help prevent a stroke

    Monday, July 7 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-07 19:00:50 GMT
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.
    Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of adult disability, but doctors want you to know that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented! Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins, from U.T. Memorial Hermann and Harris Health, shares some ways to prevent this top killer.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

An outside review of the MNsure health exchange problems by UnitedHealth Group division Optum found deep flaws that can't be completely fixed by the March 31 coverage deadline. In fact, it could be years before things work the way they're supposed to.

"While MNsure will fall short of achieving its original enrollment goals and consumer satisfaction levels, continuous improvements can be made in both the short-term and long-term," the report concluded.

In a way, the report is the cold, hard truth officials have suspected all along -- that the MNsure program is an understaffed technical mess, and that has management scrambling to figure out what to do next.

The report said MNsure could continue with its current system, but "the majority of attention must be focused on interim actions and manual efforts required to meet enrollment targets."

So far, only about 28,000 Minnesotans have signed up for individual health insurance through the online exchange. One insider told Fox 9 News that the entire program appears to have hit rock bottom.

Yet, the good news coming out of the MNsure debacle is that things will get better.

"We have some trust rebuilding to do with Minnesotans, and it's OK to say that," said Scott Leitz, interim CEO. "They have been patient with us and we're going to get there from here."

Although Leitz assured that a much better system will follow, he declined to specify exactly how. One suggested option from Optum is to can the current form and start all over with new vendors.

For now, the first priority will be to add staff to an already overwhelmed call center that is fielding more than 3,000 calls a day, leaving many callers to wait for nearly an hour.

"We understand their frustration," Leitz said. "We're going to be acting swiftly on the Optum recommendation to bring those call times down and make it a better consumer experience."

Even though the MNsure board now has a better roadmap of the problems they must tackle, one big question remains: How will they pay for it? The exchange received federal grants but is expected to be largely self-funded using a fee charged to insurance carriers.

March 31 is the federal deadline for health insurance coverage. After that date, people who don't have health insurance face a penalty.

Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices