Updated: 07/21/2014 7:32 AM
Created: 07/20/2014 9:33 PM KSTP.com
By: Jay Kolls
The Minnesota Department of Human Services sent 3,000 letters to homes of MinnesotaCare recipients who may have received incorrect monthly billing statements after they applied for health coverage through MNsure, the state's new health care exchange.
The letter tells those recipients the bills may have been wrong for several months, but they encouraged those clients to keep paying the bills anyway.
State Sen. Michelle Benson, (R) Ham Lake, sits on the MNsure Legislative Oversight Committee. She says the MNsure vendors still play a role in this problem even though the billing is handled by DHS.
"If a private company told its clients to keep paying monthly health insurance premiums even if they might be incorrect, the Minnesota Department of Commerce would come in and clean house," Benson said.
Benson says she intends to get some answers from DHS and plans on asking MNsure questions at the next committee hearing.
MNsure representatives did not want to do an on-camera interview with us because DHS handles all of its billing practices.
DHS officials also declined to comment on-camera but issued a statement that says, in part, "We are working with our IT staff and MNsure vendors to correct these issues, and MinnesotaCare coverage for those households remains in place."
MinnCare is a state health care program where low-income, working clients pay a small premium to have health coverage. Taxpayers also pay tens of millions of dollars into the program.