ST. CLOUD -- Minnesota counties are growing increasingly frustrated by lingering problems with the online health insurance exchange called MNsure.

Janet Goligowski  is the Stearns County Gateway Services Division Director. She says her staff is experiencing a backlog of public assistance clients whose applications have become "hung up" in the eligibility process.

Goligowski says the Minnesota Department of Human Services didn't anticipate a majority of applicants through the IT system would be public assistance clients.  But she says, in fact, 90% of the applicants are enrolling through public assistance programs rather than private insurance carriers.  When problems arise, it then becomes the county's responsibility to get the clients accepted into the system.

The MNsure system was supposed to handle eligibility changes in real time. But, Goligowski says the system will kick-out many of those applications, forcing county staff to paper process them.  That has created a large backlog of applications as county staffers work to connect clients with the necessary coverage.

Goligowski says the platform has numerous challenges, barriers and onerous timeframes to get the applications accepted. She says getting the system working properly will be a multi-year process.