Dayton's budget plan includes additional funds for MNsure

Gov. Mark Dayton's new budget calls for more Department of Human Services funding to help DHS cover its share of MNsure's expenses. Dayton wants lawmakers to allocate an additional $11.6 million to the department.

Most of the money — $10.5 million — would pay for MNsure IT fixes. Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said spending more on IT improvements is intended to, among other things, solve problems updating consumer accounts in the event of life changes.

"We need to be able to much more easily make life-event changes. So if somebody moved and changes their address, they have a baby, they get married — that impacts their insurance eligibility. So we need a way to much more quickly get that into the system," she said. "We do that today but it's cumbersome and time consuming and difficult."

Another $1.1 million would help finance MNsure's operational budget. Jesson said government-sponsored health plans account for a much bigger share of total enrollments than expected. That means more taxpayer funding for MNsure.

"If MNsure had more private plan enrollments the percentages would be different and the amount of costs borne by the public programs would be different," she said.

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