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MNsure's interim CEO to testify before U.S. House committee

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MNsure's interim CEO Scott Leitz is one of several representatives of troubled state health insurance exchanges that has been invited to testify before the U.S. House Oversight Committee, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

MPR says Leitz has accepted the invitation to testify at the hearing, which is called "Examining ObamaCare's Problem-Filled State Exchanges."

Leitz in a statement that he's happy to testify at the hearing, and plans to tell the committee that the state has among the lowest insurance premiums in the country. He will also note that MNsure has enrolled more than 150,000 Minnesotans in coverage.

Also invited are representatives from health exchanges from Oregon, Maryland, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

In addition to the hearing, Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, is reportedly sending letters to 10 governors, including Mark Dayton. According to MPR, the letter will seek internal documents and communications between state employees and contractors and Obama Administration officials that relate to insurance exchanges from May 1, 2013, to present.

A Dayton spokesman says the governor has not yet received Issa's letter

Word of the invitation comes just days before the March 31 enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act. Minnesotans have until 11:59 p.m. that day to enroll or face federal tax penalties of $95 or 1 percent of annual income above the tax filing threshold – whichever is greater.

Leitz said in a press release last week that Minnesotans will avoid penalties after the deadline so long as they show they attempted to obtain coverage.

“It’s just like waiting in line to vote after the polls close; if a consumer can show that they have attempted to obtain coverage before the deadline, we will make sure they can complete their enrollment,” Leitz said.

MNsure has been plagued with problems since the health insurance exchange went online Oct. 1. In addition to website glitches, MNsure struggled with call center problems and troubles with management. Though in the past month, wait times and site issues have dipped.

Leitz, a former assistant commissioner in the state Department of Human Services, replaced MNsure CEO April Todd-Malmlov in December. The executive resigned after a KSTP report revealed she vacationed in Costa Rica in November despite multiple problems with health insurance exchange.

According to the Pioneer Press, 14 managers at MNsure collectively received more than $26,000 in bonuses in November after the launch of the health exchange website.

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