Minnesota Mulls Obamacare Deadline Postponement: "Zero Policy Cards Have Been Issued"

Cortney O'Brien

12/21/2013 12:00:00 PM - Cortney O'Brien

The Obamacare deadline is coming. One state well aware of the date is Minnesota, where computer problems have surfaced since the Oct. 1 launch of its health insurance marketplace MNsure, leaving many frustrated and without insurance. As Guy reported, in the midst of this crisis executive director April Todd-Malmlov did what any overseer would do: She went to Costa Rica.

After Todd-Malmlov announced her resignation this Tuesday, Scott Leitz, the assistant commissioner of the Department of Human Services, became MNsure’s interim chief executive officer until someone fills the post permanently. In light of these recent setbacks, Minnesota is considering postponing next week’s enrollment deadline, which means Leitz and the rest of the MNsure board has a host of anxious Minnesotans on their hands.

Here's why.

MNsure is the only way for those on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare to obtain insurance coverage. But, technical glitches, along with a highly publicized incident in which an employee accidentally emailed private insurance broker information, stymied Minnesotans ready and waiting to sign up. Now, with the executive director’s resignation, those insurance plans seem as unattainable as ever.

“With less than a week before the critical enrollment deadline for Minnesota families, zero insurance policy cards have been issued and the MNsure help line is anything but helpful,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said Tuesday night. “Tonight’s news offers no comfort to hardworking Minnesotans who are still unsure if they’ll have insurance coverage on Jan. 1.”

These glitches were embarrassing enough. But, for the executive director to leave as her fellow citizens are struggling to get covered is the bitter icing on the cake.

Oddly, Todd-Malmlov wasn’t the only director to resign after taking a tropical vacation during her state’s health care rollout. Maryland’s director stepped down as well after returning from a trip to the Caribbean.

Charming.

Todd-Malmlov may have left for some fun in the sun, but Minnesotans are the ones who got burned.