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Minn. insurance officials work to correct errors

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The state is double checking MNsure coverage applications of at least 30,000 Minnesota residents who may have been given incorrect information about their eligibility for public health programs or federal tax credits.

Deputy Human Services Commissioner Chuck Johnson said 30,000 to 40,000 people may have been told they were eligible for Medicaid when they were eligible for MinnesotaCare, or vice versa. In addition, a MNsure spokesman said an undetermined number of people may have been wrongly told they don't qualify for federal tax credits to help pay for care when they actually do qualify. Others may have been told incorrect amounts.

The agencies are working to correct the mistakes, The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.

In the case of incorrect tax credit information, MNsure spokesman John Reich described the incorrect information about tax credit subsidies as a "glitch." Customers are supposed to be able to use the MNsure website to determine both eligibility for public programs and to see if they qualify for tax credits that discount the premiums.

"There's a whole bunch of folks who went through the system just fine," Reich said. "It's just a subset of consumers that we're doing the double check on."

Tax credit eligibility has been a source of confusion for some MNsure consumers in the Twin Cities in part because 2014 premiums in that part of the state are so low that many people are able to purchase what the federal law deems affordable coverage without a subsidy.

Part of the glitch, Reich said, is that MNsure incorrectly calculated tax credits for consumers who live under ZIP codes that span two counties. He said the website has been fixed to correct that and a few other issues that were contributing to incorrect estimates.

The agency is "following up with consumers to help them work through this," Reich said.

Johnson said people given incorrect information about which public plan to enroll in would be notified by mail with final, correct determinations.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.