States Losing Healthcare Exchange Directors

Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 07:33 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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Another head of a state-run Obamacare health insurance marketplace is out of a job because of website technical failures, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Minnesota’s April Todd-Malmlov joins officials from Hawaii and Maryland, both of whom have recently resigned, as well as Oregon’s director, who went out on medical leave in mid-December with no expected return date, Forbes also reported Thursday.

Todd-Malmlov’s resignation came late Tuesday during an emergency closed door meeting of the MNsure board of directors — Minnesota’s state health exchange — following revelations that Malmlov-Todd took a two-week Costa Rican vacation while her state’s site experienced a flood of technical problems.

A tropical vacation also cost Maryland’s director her job while Hawaii’s leader left after her state’s technically deficient website remained dark until Oct. 15, two weeks after the expected launch. Only 960 Hawaiians had enrolled in Obamacare as of Dec. 14, and only 44 in Oregon as of Dec. 1, the Journal reported Wednesday.

In November, Washington D.C.’s insurance commissioner was let go, he says for stating publicly that the district might not follow the president’s directive to allow individual consumers to keep existing plans for another year.

So far, 25 percent of officials in charge of the 14 state-run exchanges, plus Washington D.C., have been replaced, according to Forbes, which compares the turnover rate to professional sports coaching rosters.

More are sure to come as enrollment performance remains poor,” according to Forbes.

New Mexico, Massachusetts, Idaho, Washington DC, Nevada and Colorado are posting dismal enrollment numbers, all less than 10 percent of what was expected, the magazine noted.

The insurance industry has pushed back the deadline to pay premiums to Jan. 10 for coverage that becomes effective Jan. 1.

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