No severance package for Minn. health executive

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The former executive director of Minnesota's health insurance marketplace didn't receive a severance package from the state when she abruptly resigned, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

April Todd-Malmlov stepped down Tuesday night following an emergency closed session of the MNsure board of directors. She had been under pressure over a host of complications with insurance sign-ups under the federal health care law and for the timing of a recent international vacation while MNsure continued to struggle.

MNsure spokeswoman Jenni Bowring-McDonoug said Todd-Malmlov, who was earning $136,680, received no severance package. It was not immediately clear if she was able to cash out remaining vacation or sick time.

The MNsure board quickly tapped Scott Leitz, an assistant state human services commissioner, to replace her on an interim basis. Leitz has more than a decade of high-level health care experience.

Leitz and the MNsure board chairman, Brian Beutner, were expected to hold a news conference later Wednesday ahead of a previously scheduled afternoon board meeting. Next Monday is the enrollment deadline for Minnesotans who want coverage that starts Jan. 1 under the new law.

As that date approaches, Minnesota insurance companies have said the information they're getting from MNsure about enrollees has in many cases been plagued with errors. Major features of the MNsure website have been unavailable for long periods in recent days, and wait times for its toll-free helpline have at times reached to 60 minutes.

Questions about Todd-Malmlov's leadership grew after she took a vacation to Costa Rica in late November, with the aforementioned problems unresolved. Following disclosure of that trip, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton — who appointed the MNsure board of directors — notably withheld praise for the agency's leadership and called the problems unacceptable.

Todd-Malmlov did not comment publicly on her resignation and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

After Todd-Malmlov's resignation Tuesday, Dayton issued a statement saying he hoped agency's new leadership would move quickly to fix remaining problems.

The most recent federal data put Minnesota in the middle of the pack for private insurance sign-ups under the federal health overhaul, with 4,478 policies. However, state and federal officials say the state has seen a faster pace of people signing up for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, the state's programs for low-income people and families.


Associated Press reporter Brian Bakst contributed to this report.