Minnesota Health Exchange Director Resigns After Costa Rica Vacation

AP

The director of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange resigned Tuesday, following the bumpy rollout of the exchange and the revelation that she took a tropical vacation in November.

MNsure executive director April Todd-Malmlov gave up her job during a meeting with the program’s executive committee, according to The Minneapolis Star Tribune. Scott Leitz, the state’s assistant commissioner of health care, was named to a newly created position of interim CEO of the exchange, pending a search for a new permanent director.

Minnesota’s exchange has had a smoother rollout than other states’ programs, according to the Star Tribune, but “it still has been marked by countless technical glitches, delays and frustrated consumers.” The pressure on Todd-Malmlov really increased after the public learned that she and the state’s Medicaid director, James Golden, took a two-week vacation last month. According to the Star Tribune, Todd-Malmlov and Golden live together and had “worked closely on the implementation of the new exchange.”

The conservative Watchdog.org’s Minnesota bureau first reported last week on Todd-Malmlov’s vacation, which included time in Costa Rica. MNsure staff confirmed that Todd-Malmov was out of the office for eight business days before the two-day Thanksgiving holiday for state employees.

While Gov. Mark Dayton (D) last week defended Todd-Malmlov’s right to take a pre-scheduled vacation, he struck a different note on Tuesday.

“The recent problems some have experienced with MNsure are completely unacceptable,” Dayton said, according to the Star Tribune. “I am hopeful that this new leadership will lead to their swift resolution.”

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Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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