After a closed-door meeting on Tuesday, the MNsure Board of Directors accepted the resignation of executive director April Todd-Malmlov and appointed Scott Leitz to the new position of interim CEO while a national search for a permanent CEO begins.
No reason was given for Todd-Malmlov's departure, but she had recently been criticized over a vacation she took during what state leaders described as the busiest time of year for the troubled healthcare exchange.
In a release, the MNsure board explained that it took action "to improve service for Minnesotans using the state's health insurance exchange."
"The organization is at a sage where it needs a CEO to manage both MNsure's current challenges and position it for greater success in the future," MNSure Board Chair Brian Beutner said in that release. "Scott has been a proven leader at the Department of Human Services."
Leitz, for his part, outlined some immediate priorities and said his focus will be on partnering with health plans to make it easier for individuals to enroll in coverage as well as moving quickly to fix the ongoing issues with the website while increasing transparency.
"MNsure must do better," Leitz said. "If there are problems or mistakes, we will acknowledge them and fix them."
Both Leitz and Beutner will attend a press conference scheduled for 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday to offer more information.
Gov. Mark Dayton had been vocal in recent weeks about his displeasure with the functionality of the MNsure health exchange, and had urged the board to act.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"I commend the Members of the MNsure Board for their strong action to change immediately the executive staff leadership at Minnesota's Health Insurance Exchange. I fully support their decision, and I have confidence in Scott Leitz's abilities to lead MNsure as its Acting Chief Executive Officer. As I have said before – and have made emphatically clear to the MNsure Board – now is a critical time for Minnesotans, who are relying on this exchange to purchase good quality, yet affordable, health insurance. The recent problems some have experienced with MNsure are completely unacceptable. I am hopeful that this new leadership will lead to their swift resolution." - Gov. Mark Dayton
"I want to thank April Todd-Malmlov for her hard work and leadership in moving MNsure from a mere idea to a marketplace with the lowest health insurance rates in the country. Unacceptable technical challenges remain for Minnesotans trying to enroll with MNsure. As we move ahead, a key focus for MNsure should be their work with outside vendors who need to step up their technical support to fix these IT issues." - Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights), chief author of MNsure legislation
"Today's resignation of MNsure's executive director does not change the fact that MNsure is a fiasco. Mark Dayton was the biggest cheerleader to bring Obamacare to Minnesota, and he owns this mess. It is time for Dayton to take responsibility and apologize to Minnesotans for not being sufficiently prepared. This staggering incompetence is a new low." - Ben Golnik, Minnesota Jobs Coalition chairman