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MNsure director steps down; interim CEO is selected

Posted by: under Health care, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: December 17, 2013 - 7:07 PM

The embattled director of the state’s fledgling health insurance exchange resigned Tuesday amid mounting criticism of her leadership and the troubled rollout of the new health care program.

MNsure executive director April Todd-Malmlov announced she would step down from her $136,000-a-year post during a closed-door meeting with the program’s executive committee.

The board installed Scott Leitz to the new position of interim Chief Executive Officer while it conducts a national search for a permanent chief executive.

Leitz will oversee operational improvements to ensure the exchange works for Minnesotans and address the organization’s long-range planning needs.

“Scott has been a proven leader at the Department of Human Services where he has managed a large and complex organization effectively,” said MNsure board chairman Brian Beutner “We are fortunate to have someone with his capabilities and his intimate understanding of MNsure available to step in quickly and lead us through these critical next few months.”

Todd-Malmlov’s abrupt resignation comes as thousands of Minnesotans are scrambling to enroll in the state’s new online insurance marketplace by Jan. 1. The implementation of Minnesota’s program has gone more smoothly than in other states, but it still has been marked by countless technical glitches, delays and frustrated consumers.

The program could have political consequences in Minnesota and nationally. Gov. Mark Dayton ensured Minnesota was among the first to adopt President Obama’s health insurance overhaul, and Republicans have been relentless in trying to tie the governor to its rocky rollout.

“Governor Dayton has been very clear that the current state of the exchange is unacceptable, which is something he has expressed clearly to the board and to the public,” Dayton spokesman Matt Swenson said Monday. “In the final analysis, tens of thousands of Minnesotans are in the process of getting covered under MNsure, with the lowest health insurance rates in the country.”

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