County Board to get MNsure update

NEW ULM – Brown County commissioners will receive a MNsure update from Brown County Income Maintenance Supervisor Teresa Schroeder at its meeting today.

Schroeder reported that the State of Minnesota is studying whether to continue with the Curam computer program or replace it. Brown County had more than 600 cases on the MNsure/MNCare program at the end of March, according to the Request for Board Action (RBA). “There are huge issues around finance and process for doing such a thing,” Schroeder wrote.

“Computer start-ups for new programs generally take about three years to start and another year or two to work out problems,” Schroeder wrote. “In this case, the program which is the largest ever, was brought up in a little more than a year.”

The MNsure program has worked well for some recipients and not very well for others, according to Schroeder. Some enrollees are in a public program they did not intend to apply for. Other enrollees had life-event changes that cannot be dealt with at the county level. The county’s only current recourse is to send in a trouble ticket to the Department of Human Services (DHS) and wait until someone at the state level can try to resolve the problem.

The DHS has rolled out additional training courses for staff. Brown County staff has been diligent about taking the training, Schroeder reported.

Commissioners will also receive:

A letter from DHS Commissioner Lucinda Jesson commending Brown County staff for perfect performance in meeting DHS financial reporting requirements for 2013.

The Brown County Veterans Service Office quarterly report. Brown County Veterans Service Officer Greg Peterson reported that the extended cold weather and high propane costs impacted several lower-income veterans. The office applied to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans of Mankato and the Minnesota Special Needs fund to keep people connected to their fuel source.

“Our local veterans organizations (DAV, Legion, VFW), contributed generously towards fuel and vehicle assistance to these veterans. We are fortunate to have these compassionate organizations always willing to help take care of their own,” Peterson reported.

The board meeting starts at 9 a.m. today in the courthouse commissioners room.

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