A final audit report shows Minnesota will save roughly $4 million by cutting off about four thousand dependents of state employee who were wrongly receiving state health benefits.
Minnesota Management and Budget says 4,218 dependents of state workers were not eligible to receive health benefits. That’s a higher number than the department estimated in August when MPR News first reported the preliminary audit results.
But even though the number of dependents is higher, the expected savings are lower. The report found that the state would save about $4 million for the current calendar year, not the $10 million officials projected when preliminary results were released in August.
The report found no evidence of fraud among state employees. In fact, the biggest reason dependents were declared ineligible was because state employees didn’t submit the appropriate paperwork by the audit’s deadline. About 1,000 dependents who lost benefits due to the audit were re-enrolled for coverage for next year. State employees still need to prove their dependents’ eligibility.
MMB spokesman John Pollard clarified some points in an email tonight.
The $10 million was “a long term savings estimate. The $4 million is an immediate savings we did not expect so we actually saved more than we thought we would.”
Pollard adds that MMB can’t make a long-term savings estimate at this point.
Also MMB expects 1,000 dependents to return to the plan after open enrollment numbers are compiled.
Here’s the full report: