About two-thirds of people who signed up for coverage on Minnesota's health insurance exchange won't get financial assistance, but are still finding better coverage options there. And the director of the exchange comes under fire for a two-week vacation while problems with the website persisted.
Minnesota Public Radio: Already Covered, Many Still Seek – And Find – Better Options On MNsure
The main reason for establishing health insurance exchanges such as MNsure is to provide coverage to people who lack insurance and need assistance paying for it. But initial numbers from the state's new online marketplace suggest that the site is attracting attention from people outside its target audience. Nearly two thirds of the nearly 49,000 people who have completed insurance applications through MNsure will not receive financial assistance. That's because they don't qualify for federal subsidies or didn't bother to find out if they qualify for assistance (Richert, 12/12).
The Star Tribune: MNsure Director's Tropical Vacation Amid Website Woes Draws Fire
Last month, while Minnesota's new health insurance exchange site was scrambling to fix glitches and under fire from critics, its director was on vacation. MNsure director April Todd-Malmlov took a two-week vacation to Costa Rica around Thanksgiving. Gov. Mark Dayton defended her right to take a pre-scheduled trip, but critics of the fledgling health insurance exchange pounced. The conservative group Watchdog.org put out a press release Thursday, condemning her absence while "thousands of frustrated Minnesotans were notified about glitches and errors in their applications on the state insurance exchange” (Brooks, 12/12).