9/17/2014 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Coordinator
ST. PAUL, Minn.-Minnesotans who purchase their 2015 health insurance through MNsure will find an improved overall system and better shopping experience during the open enrollment period that begins November 15, according to MNsure staff who appeared before MNsure's governing board today.
"Our top priority is customer service and we are racing against the clock to make sure we have everything in place when consumers begin shopping for health insurance in November," said MNsure CEO Scott Leitz. "This is a tightly managed project on an incredibly tight timeline."
"We have improved the core software that makes up MNsure's technology system and we have plans in place if there are any problems with the website. We also have thousands of brokers and navigators around the state who will help consumers select the coverage that's right for them," said Leitz.
In June, the State of Minnesota's information technology (IT) department, MN.IT Services, was asked to assume the overall management of the various MNsure-related IT projects and to work closely with vendors. The agency will oversee technical and user testing of the system prior to the start of open enrollment, and is designing a key piece of software for MNsure that will keep data consistent across multiple databases.
MNsure has also engaged in extensive contingency planning and has worked closely with its partners at the Minnesota Department of Human Services on improved customer service for all Minnesotans seeking health insurance through state systems.
Leitz stressed that improved customer service is MNsure's number one priority. To that end, MNsure has beefed up its call center staffing and is negotiating with a vendor to handle overflow calls. This will reduce call center wait times for consumers. MNsure has also added improvements for partners statewide, including enhancements for MNsure-certified brokers.
"We're starting this year with more experience, staffing and vendors in place. Our goal is to ensure that consumer calls are answered in a matter of minutes," said Leitz. "Health care and health insurance needs are as varied as the people seeking to enroll. Our goal is to make sure that consumers can get the help they need on the phone and in person."
Free, in-person assistance is available for Minnesotans who have questions about MNsure or who need help with enrollment. Certified navigators and brokers are available throughout the state. MNsure's online assister directory can be found on the website.
Since the launch of MNsure, 330,211 Minnesotans have enrolled in quality, affordable coverage through MNsure. 54,724 are enrolled in a qualified health plan, 202,935 in Medical Assistance and 72,552 in MinnesotaCare. Between September 30, 2013, and May 1, 2014, the number of uninsured Minnesotans fell by 40.6% to a record low. Open enrollment for 2015 coverage begins November 15, 2014.