MNsure faces $5M shortfall next year

Preliminary budget projections for MNsure, the state's online insurance website, show a $5 million shortfall for next year. But officials say they won't need additional state funding because of left over federal funding.

MNsure leaders estimate MNsure will have about $40 million in expenses but take in about $35 million in revenue next year. Although MNsure has $5 million in hand from federal grants, the federal government has limited states to using that money to create their insurance marketplaces in 2014.

States cannot use the federal money for 2015 because the federal government wants state insurance marketplaces to be financially self-sustaining next year.

However, MNsure Deputy Director Wes Kooistra said he's confident federal officials will allow the state to use that money in 2015.

"We're not asking in this budget for more federal money," he said. "We're just asking for an extended time frame to use the federal money they've already given us."

MNsure leaders say that if they are unable to use the federal funds, they will pursue spending cuts.

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