Report: Leader of Botched Health Connector Pockets $40K in Unused Vacation Time

In 2014, Forbes said the Massachusetts Health Connector was the worst exchange in the nation.

What happens to a highly paid executive whose screw-up attracts national headlines, who cries in public and then departs for the private sector?

She gets a parting gift of almost $40,000 (and her top deputy doesn’t do badly, either).

The Boston Herald is reporting that Jean Yang, MBA, the former head of the Massachusetts Health Connector, was able to take advantage of state policies that allow state officials to carry over unused vacation time from year to year. The amount Yang was paid upon leaving meant she was paid for 57 unused days—essentially, she didn’t take a day off during her 2-year tenure, according to the report.

Yang stepped down January 6, 2015. She was making $179,243 a year. Her successor, who arrived with the administration of new Governor Charlie Baker, makes $223,000 a year.

While technically legal, Yang’s payment raised eyebrows after the problems with the rollout of the Health Connector. The commonwealth health exchange that performed so badly it was ranked the worst in the nation by Forbes, and published reports after its disastrous rollout found that state workers had to process health insurance applications by hand while the website was being fixed.

Yang personally made headlines when she cried at a 2014 board meeting about the problems with the website.

According to the Herald’s report, the administration of former Governor Deval Patrick knew for months that the website would not work before the start of open enrollment in the first year of the Affordable Care Act, but it hid that fact from the public.

The report said Yang’s deputy, Roni Mansur, also left with unused vacation work nearly $28,000.

Citing her LinkedIn page, the Herald said Yang now works at Boston Children’s Hospital and that she could not be reached for comment.

Technical problems with the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov during the first open enrollment period of the ACA in 2013-2014 led to the resignation of President Barack Obama’s first HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, shortly after open enrollment ended in the spring of 2014.