Minnesota may have improperly spent federal grants that were meant to help establish its health insurance marketplace, according to a report released by HHS' Office of Inspector General on Monday.
The state was awarded $189.6 million in grants to establish its own Affordable Care Act exchange. OIG flagged around $1.2 million as possibly being misspent.
One reason the faulty spending took place was because Minnesota made assumptions based on what the federal watchdog called outdated methodology. In another instance, money was paid without the state drafting an appropriate contract amendment. OIG also found an instance where the Minnesota marketplace reimbursed a contractor twice because it did not create or maintain complete and accurate inventory records.
As a result, the agency recommended the state return the money in question. However, Minnesota officials told OIG they disagreed with the findings and should not have to repay the funds. Officials did agree with the recommendation to create better inventory records.
A spokeswoman for the Minnesota's marketplace, MNsure, did not immediately return a request for comment. During the 2016 open-enrollment period last year, 84,000 people selected plans on the state-run marketplace.
Similar ACA exchange funding audits have also turned up similar problems in Maryland, New York, Nevada, Vermont and Washington, D.C.