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8,700 MinnesotaCare enrollees given bad information on MNsure switch

ST. PAUL -- The state Department of Human Services is moving quickly to correct an error in notices sent to more than 8,700 people in the MinnesotaCare health insurance program.

The incorrect information was sent in a July 17 notice that told enrollees they needed to make a payment this month for coverage to continue in August.

That’s not right, state officials said Monday.

In addition, the notice wrongly said beneficiaries would be disqualified from coverage for four months if they did not renew by Aug. 1.

Beneficiaries will lose coverage if they don’t renew it by Aug. 1, state officials say, but if they restart it later, they won’t be subject to a four-month waiting period.

The mistakes are part of a massive transition of public health insurance beneficiaries to the new MNsure information technology system over the next year.

“We sincerely apologize for this error and for causing any confusion among MinnesotaCare clients about their eligibility for coverage,” said Human Services Deputy Commissioner Chuck Johnson in a statement. “We want our clients to know that their coverage remains in place if they renew through MNsure by July 31, and we are moving quickly to prevent this from happening again.”

For existing beneficiaries to move into the new system, they must individually re-enroll in coverage through the MNsure website or by a paper application. The state has asked about 14,000 MinnesotaCare beneficiaries to re-enroll through MNsure by Aug. 1, with plans for all 800,000 people in public health insurance programs to transition to the new system by some point in 2015.

A subset of the 14,000 MinnesotaCare beneficiaries received the wrong information as part of a mailing with instructions about how to make the transition. The Department of Human Services mailed a letter Monday to correct the information.

“If you are a MinnesotaCare client who received one of these notices, you will not be disqualified from coverage for four months if you do not renew coverage by August 1st,” the Department of Human Services said Monday in a statement. “You do not have a payment due until you renew your coverage in the new system.”

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.