MNsure paid executives bonuses as the website floundered

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Fourteen managers at MNsure collectively received more than $26,000 in bonuses in November after the launch of the health exchange website, according to a report in the Pioneer Press

State officials disclosed the information on Wednesday.

The newspaper reports questions about those bonuses were first raised by Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, in a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday.

A report last week suggested MNsure's website is deeply flawed. The report, which was conducted by Optum, a division of United Health Group, said it would take 12 to 24 months to repair the site. It suggested another choice would be to rebuild the website from scratch.

According to the Pioneer Press, Hoppe wrote, "After MNsure's catastrophic launch, MNsure executive staff received bonus compensation. Given the chaos that was apparent within MNsure, this is reminiscent of the worst excesses of Wall Street."

MNsure has been plagued by troubles since its launch on Oct. 1. Software glitches created problems for thousands who were attempting to sign up. Also, consumers faced long hold times during December because of MNsure's overwhelmed call center.

The governor's spokesman, Matt Swenson, said in a statement, "The governor's office was neither involved in, nor aware of, MNsure's bonuses."

The Pioneer Press reports MNsure spokesman John Schadl said former executive director April Todd-Malmlov approved the bonuses, which did not require approval from the MNsure board.

Following the review last week, Dayton accepted responsibility for the flaws with the MNsure rollout. The governor described the $100 million rollout as "horrible," and acknowledged the buck stops with him.

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