MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Republican lawmaker is questioning how MNsure staff spends its time a week before open enrollment starts.
The criticism comes after Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace mailed out voter registration information.
In a press conference on Monday, State Rep. Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville) said she sent a letter to MNsure’s CEO and Gov. Mark Dayton asking why voter registration information is coming from MNsure.
Peterson said she’s specifically questioning the cost, the amount of staff time spent on the mailings and why registered voters are receiving the mailings.
Peterson said she isn’t opposed to helping potential voters get the facts they need but feels MNsure has bigger challenges to tackle right now.
The upcoming enrollment period could be one of MNsure’s most challenging — with higher premiums and caps that could limit options for those seeking health insurance.
“From my view, it needs to be all hands on deck,” Peterson said. “MNsure needs to make absolutely sure the website is ready and that Minnesota’s private health insurance information is kept safe and the call center is prepared for massive influx of Minnesotans seeking help.”
We reached out to MNsure, which released this statement:
“All state agencies are statutorily required to provide voter registration services pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 201.162. Consumers have the option to request a voter registration card in the Minnesota Eligibility Technology System, or METS, application process and also on paper applications. Only consumers who request a voter registration card will be sent a voter registration card. Requests for a voter registration card are processed by the Health Care Eligibility Operations (HCEO) group within the Department of Human Services and also by counties (for private and public program enrollees). The Department of Human Services has been processing requests for voter registration cards for years, even before the introduction of the METS system.”
DFL House leader Paul Thiessen questioned in a statement why Peterson takes issue with registering voters.
“I’ve never understood why Rep. Roz Peterson and Republicans are so afraid of voters. It is sad that like Donald Trump, Roz Peterson continues to attack the basic foundations of our democracy,” Thiessen said.
As of this Monday morning, there were are still no scheduled plans between the caucus leaders to discuss ways to reduce the cost of insurance premiums.