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Shaky Web Site Frustrates Insurance Helpers

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MNsure officials say there are still hundreds of people stuck in insurance limbo, whose cases are deemed “pending.”

One of them is Susan Leem of St. Paul, a married mother of two, whose current insurance expires on Tuesday. On March 6, when she first applied, the MNsure site said her husband qualified for MinnesotaCare, a plan for “residents who do not have access to affordable health care coverage.” The site said she and the children qualified for Medical Assistance, the state’s Medicaid program, but Leem doubts that because of her income. She needs coverage to begin Tuesday, but her case is still pending.

“For me it’s the not knowing,” she said.

“If they end up having to go to the doctor or the emergency room, we can work with them to make sure that if they’re eligible for one of our public programs, that they’re getting the coverage they need and it will be retroactive,” Human Service Commissioner Lucinda Jesson said.

But the possibility of retroactive coverage doesn’t give Leem peace of mind. As she cradles her infant son in her lap, she still worries.

“If I get into a car accident and I need emergency surgery and they ask my husband where is your medical card, can he say, pending ‘MNcare?’” she asked. “Maybe they’d reimburse me later; maybe they wouldn’t if my paperwork was not deemed eligible or correct.”

– Elizabeth Stawicki, MPRnews

This story is part of a reporting partnership that includes NPR, member stations and Kaiser Health News.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Tue, Apr 1 2014

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