MNsure CEO steps down as lawmakers debate future of program

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As lawmakers debate the future of Minnesota's troubled health insurance exchange, its chief executive officer is stepping down after 18 months at the helm.

MNsure announced Monday afternoon that CEO Scott Leitz is leaving his post to join the Health Care Cost Institute as chief transformation officer.

He will be replaced by interim CEO Allison O'Toole, with the change becoming effective May 22, the release says.

MNsure Board Chair Brian Beutner said O'Toole, who served as the deputy director for external affairs at MNsure, was the board's unanimous choice.

As CEO, she will oversee an annual budget of nearly $50 million and more than 150 staff, the release says.

Leitz announced his resignation to the MNsure Board of Directors Monday.

He was named CEO in April 2014 after serving as interim CEO for several months, his bio on MNsure's website says.

He stepped into the role after former CEO April Todd-Malmlov abruptly resigned following several months of widely publicized problems with the website and lower-than-expected enrollments.

When Leitz took the helm, he vowed transparency and improvements with the website and call center wait times, and although there has been progress, a recent report found the exchange's failures may outweigh its achievements.

“Challenges remain, but we have made significant progress in the last year. I am committed to ensuring as many Minnesotans as possible have access to affordable, comprehensive health care, and I look forward to leading MNsure through this transition period," O'Toole said in the release. 

The shakeup in leadership comes as lawmakers are debating the future of MNsure. Proposals include abolishing its governing board, to dismantling the exchange in favor of a federal program, the Star Tribune says.

As of this month, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health care coverage, which is the highest percentage in state history, the release notes.

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