ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — A new state audit reports Minnesota overspent at least $115 million last year for people on MNsure who got the wrong health insurance benefits.

The audit is coming as MNsure makes a final push for 2016 signups. It’s bad timing, for sure. Minnesota’s legislative auditor reported on Thursday the overpayments total between $115 million and $271 million.

It says the state failed to confirm people were eligible for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs. Governor Dayton minimized the audit during a tour of MNsure on Thursday, saying auditors “Never look at what’s going right.”

“They are never put in the proper perspective in terms of everything that is going right, with everything that is going better,” Dayton said. “So in general I think it is not unusual that they found problems. And in general I think it’s important to look at the positive side of what has improved and what is working well.”

MNsure critics called the report a sign of “persistent incompetence.”

Republican House Taxes Committee Chair Greg Davids says MNsure is treating taxpayer dollars “like Monopoly money.”

Sunday is the deadline if Minnesotans want to get health insurance through MNsure. So how’s that going? MNsure officials said Thursday registration is going very well.

The health exchanges say it has signed up 75,000 people in the last few months and they’re hoping to get 83,000 by Monday. About 70 percent of the signups are getting tax subsidies to lower their monthly premiums.

Pat Kessler

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