MNsure’s Director Took Two-Week Caribbean Vacation as Exchange Double-Checked Up to 40,000 Applications

by Sterling Beard

The director of Minnesota’s state-run health-care exchange took a two-week Caribbean vacation around Thanksgiving, even as the exchange continued to suffer from glitches, security flaws, and other issues.

MNsure director April Todd-Malmlov, whose 2013 salary is listed at $113,000, spent two weeks in Costa Rica even as the exchange worked to verify whether up to 40,000 applications had been incorrectly denied public coverage or premium subsidies. In total, she missed eight work days.

According to a statement issued by MNsure, Todd-Malmlov was available via phone and e-mail and “communicated with on a daily basis, providing leadership and direction as needed.”

Minnesota governor Mark Dayton (D) defended the director’s vacation, saying he understood it to be preplanned, and said he had little control over her vacation plans because she reports to the exchange’s board. He also argued that she has “worked extraordinarily hard for months now, probably all of last year.”

A similar vacation to the Cayman Islands cost the head of the Maryland health-care exchange, Rebecca Pearce, her job last week. 

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