Health care overhaul has Minnesota counties scrambling

If you want to know how much work it takes to implement the new federal health care law in Minnesota, ask Linda Bixby, economics support division manager for Washington County Community Services. "I've worked in human services for over 20 years and I've never encountered anything quite like this," she said. "It's kind of like the perfect storm, [with] so many things converging at one time." By "perfect storm," Bixby means the state's expansion of Medicaid — also known in Minnesota as Medical A

Management, technology failures, miscommunication plagued MNsure

Using MNsure should have been easy for Becky Fink. As a local clinic director, she'd been trained by the new health insurance exchange on how to help people sign up online. But the site never worked for her even though she "tried, tried, many, many times, many times." Fink was among thousands of other Minnesotans who saw MNsure's cheery Paul Bunyan TV ads and tried to use the site once it went live in October. Some had success, but others are still trying to get insurance or have given up all

Affordable Care Act has unique proving ground in Minnesota

No state is set to embrace the Affordable Care Act as thoroughly as Minnesota, the only one that will implement the "big three" components of health insurance expansion. That means Minnesota will expand the Medicaid program, develop an online insurance marketplace and offer a basic health program. It's the third component that really sets the state apart. Only Minnesota has committed to offering a basic health program, a safety net for people who have too much income to qualify for Medicaid, b