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Human error leaves 16,000 MNsure applicants in limbo

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Minnesota's Department of Human Services failed to send 16,000 notices to Minnesotans whose Medical Assistance applications are pending through MNsure, the state's online insurance marketplace.

  The letters would have notified applicants that they needed to provide proof of key information the federal government couldn't verify automatically — information such as income, citizenship, tribal membership, or Social Security numbers.

  The notices were supposed to go out beginning in February. Until MNsure receives the information, these Medical Assistance applications are on hold.

  Deputy Human Services Commissioner Chuck Johnson said the process just broke down.

  "It was human error. It was not having the right sort of project management oversight in place over all of the processes we had going on."

  Johnson says DHS will send out those notices by the middle of July. He said many of the 16,000 people already have been contacted through their counties. He said consumers who think they may have been affected can call DHS or their county.

  "We can look into their case and identify what verifications are needed and then they can get those to us and we can process their case," he said.

  Johnson said applicants who were eligible for government-sponsored health coverage will receive retroactive coverage based on when they originally submitted their application.