2/13/2015 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator
ST. PAUL, Minn.-While the end of the 2015 open enrollment period is still two days away, today MNsure highlighted successes the organization saw during the three-month enrollment period, including significant improvements in nearly all aspects of the organization.
"The difference between last year and this year is really night and day," said CEO Scott Leitz. "Whether you've had direct experience with MNsure or not, nearly all of us can agree that improvements have been made and MNsure is heading in the right direction to better serve all Minnesotans in the future."
When MNsure launched in October 2013, there were 35 people hired to answer phones and act as customer service representatives in the MNsure Contact Center. Today, that number has grown by more than eight times, to a total of 300 customer service agents.
Since November 15, 2014, the MNsure Contact Center agents have answered more than 240,000 telephone calls. The average wait time during the entire 2015 open enrollment period was just under three minutes. In comparison, last year's average wait time hovered around 60 minutes.
In addition to increased telephone support, MNsure also launched digital customer service. These agents respond to email, Facebook and Twitter questions, often being able to resolve an issue in minutes.
"The increased customer service has really been noticed by our enrollees," said Leitz. "I am extremely pleased that we were able to make such strides in a part of our organization that has the most public interaction."
Stable IT System
Much improved but still not yet perfect, the MNsure IT system performed in a way that allowed Minnesotans to get enrolled in the coverage they needed without lock-outs, lost applications or months of delays.
The 2015 open enrollment period saw very little unscheduled system downtime and no need to re-determine eligibility for applications that had already been given a determination of Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare or a Qualified Health Plan.
The IT system was also better at handling demand. Of the more than 131,000 enrollments during the 2015 open enrollment period so far, just two percent have been completed using a manual process.
"A recent grant adjustment from the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) will allow MNsure to make additional IT improvements to the MNsure system at an accelerated rate, all while keeping MNsure one of the most cost effective marketplaces in the country," said Leitz.
MNsure made a conscious effort this open enrollment period to lean on our broker and navigator partners in the community and let them do what they do best: interact with members of their community and get them enrolled into health insurance coverage.
MNsure saw impressive success in the first year of its Lead Agency broker pilot program. Six agent/broker offices across the state were selected for this program, providing convenient walk-in services for residents of surrounding communities to find face-to-face assistance from MNsure-certified brokers, navigators and other assisters.
Collectively, the six Lead Agencies increased their 2015 qualified health plan enrollment by more than 14 times over their 2014 enrollments. Last year, one of MNsure's Lead Agencies the LeClair Group enrolled fewer than 50 Minnesotans in a MNsure plan. This year, they're on track to enroll more than 900.
"LeClair Group is proud to partner with MNsure as a Lead Agency," said Margaret Lett, LeClair Group CEO. "Being host to a wide range of well-trained navigators and brokers at our Woodbury office has been an additional benefit and allowed us to learn and share knowledge with each other, ultimately making the consumer experience better."
Minnesota is blessed with a number of high caliber organizations carrying out the work of enrolling uninsured people into affordable, comprehensive health coverage. To see this in action, one need look no further than the work in Minnesotan's vibrant Somali community. Hodan Guled, director of business development at Somali Health Solutions, worked with MNsure 's grassroots outreach team to canvass at Somali shopping centers and apartment complexes. Overall, Guled says the strategy works, as people in her community often don't seek medical services until it is too late.
"Many of these folks may not have even been to a doctor because they don't have health insurance," said Guled. "This outreach work is really important."
As of end of day Thursday, February 12, 140,233 Minnesotans have enrolled in health insurance coverage through MNsure. 49,238 are in a QHP, 24,457 in MinnesotaCare and 66,538 in Medical Assistance. This will be the final enrollment update until Wednesday, February 18.
Open enrollment for 2015 coverage began November 15, 2014, and ends February 15, 2015. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage-the highest percentage in state history.