ST. CLOUD -- A state-based program that oversees long-term care and care for people with disabilities has Stearns County's Community Supports Division making some changes to how they operate.

Community Supports Director Janet Reigstad told county commissioners today (Tuesday), the workload created by the state has left them with insufficient staff to handle all of the duties for MnCHOICES.

Stearns County Human Services Administrator Mark Sizer says they will start by sending notice to discontinue contracts with Managed Care Organizations like Blue Cross, Medica and UCare. Sizer says that will allow them to shift seven fulltime-equivalent positions to handle the new workload through MnCHOICES.

The move saves the county from having to hire additional staff to handle the increased workload.

Reigstad says they will work with their clients to provide for a seamless transition in the next 4-6 months. She says clients will have the same coverages and benefits. The only difference will be a shift in the clients' caseworkers.

Stearns County added nine full-time positions to work with the MnCHOICES program in 2014 and are trying to handle all of the new responsibilities without adding additional staff positions in 2015.