Minn. legislative auditor to review MNsure, despite federal directive

Minnesota's legislative auditor will continue reviewing a main part of MNsure's operations -- despite a federal directive not to.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid say state auditors should not review how well their states are determining who is eligible for public health insurance programs such as Medical Assistance. The directive applies to last Oct. 1, the day online health insurance marketplaces such as MNsure began determining such eligibility.

Federal officials say they are developing a three-year pilot project with state Medicaid programs that will improve accuracy in eligibility determinations.

Minnesota Legislative Auditor James Nobles calls the federal directive "unprecedented." He said it is not an adequate substitute for a state review.

"The reason we have external auditors, independent auditors, is because you need somebody from the outside to come in and hold people accountable what they've pledged to do," Nobles said.

The Office of the Legislative Auditor is in the midst of a top to bottom review of MNsure's operations, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

"I'm going to do the work," Nobles said. "My obligations and responsibilities are to the state of Minnesota, to the Minnesota Legislature."

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