MNsure.org Website Failed and Never Improved
No testing of the site occurred before launch Oct. 1st, 2013. Many people could not make accounts or finish applications. Completed applications could not be processed, insurance companies could not get information from MNsure.
The worst problem was that nothing improved. The software process is a shambles, the design complex and unworkable, the contractors incompetent and venal and still no testing has ever occurred. MNsure’s Director April Todd-Malmlov resigned mid-December in an uproar of scandal.
The error filled difficult to use incomprehensible website and the disincentive of having people come to the awful website on their own initiative and fill out pages and pages and pages of jargonized information that is then attempted to be “verified” to slightly different information already collected is an exersize in futility and a guarantee of low participation. Few people can complete any transaction from the current website. It is like a Republican voting scheme: a design proven to turn people away.
MN Department of Revenue and Department of Human Services Already Have Information Needed to Get Most Enrolled.
The information is already collected. Social Security Number, dependents, income, address, food stamps, etc. Why collect it again?
Of the 450,000 people estimated to be without health insurance in Minnesota maybe 300k or more would qualify for MA and MNCare. The MN Department of Revenue has both Federal IRS and Minnesota tax forms. People could be pre-screened for Medical Assistance (Medicaid), MNCare and QHP (20% profit ripoff private insurance) tax subsidies.
County services and the MN Dept. of Human Services (DHS) would then have a list of people that qualify for MA/MNcare but do not yet have health care. People would then be contacted to verify information and finish enrollment by County workers and DHS through a website or paper form. Limited information would be needed to verify or update the prescreened information.
And here I thought I was so smart. West Virginia and 3 other states already scanned their citizens existing information and signed them up. From Charles Gaba’s ACASignups.net blog on ACA numbers 73% of the uninsured of West Virginia were signed up and no crush of people at the website:
“the reason West Virginia nearly doubled the projected number of enrollment was by identifying potential participants using information on existing food stamps and Medicaid applications. Only one of four states with this kind of auto enrollment, the process garnered around 118,000 enrollees.[in W. Virginia]”
The stupid wasteful advertising expenses of MNsure could be cut, we already know who qualifies. Verification time would be shorter than now (40 days is common) and most people could get enrolled without a problem.
Simplified Health Program Eligibility Would Speed the Process
Because of the complex obtuse eligibility rules for health programs or updates to information at Revenue there will be a fraction of people that prescreening can not easily verify. Simplified eligibility rules for MA and MNcare tailored to Department of Revenue information and update cycles would help keep that fraction small. Because of prescreening many of the difficult cases would be known beforehand and special handling could be prepared.
Pre-Screened Tax Subsidies Would Even Sell Ripoff 20% Profit Private Insurance (QHP)
With everyone prescreened people could check the website with only limited information to see eligibility for subsidies and amounts for policies that qualify without filling out pages and pages and pages of forms.
Single Payer Health Care Would Be Even Easier
Of course the most obvious improvement to health care for all is extending Medicare for all. No complex eligibility, no one left out.