New Executives Named as CMS Prepares
for 2015 Open Enrollment for Marketplace
Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Market place will be November 15,
2014 to February 15, 2015; coverage can start as early as January 1,
26, 2014 – A new Marketplace Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kevin
Counihan, will join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS),
and Lori Lodes has been named the new Director of Communications for
CMS. The announcement was made by Health and Human Services Secretary
Syliva M. Burwell, who is about have her first turn at steering the
Health Insurance Marketplace through an open enrollment period.
“When I arrived at the Department,
I committed to retain, develop and recruit the best talent available,
and that’s what we are doing,” Secretary Burwell said.
“We are building strong teams with
the focus and know-how necessary to advance our mission and deliver
impact for the people we serve. We are committed to instilling ongoing
accountability for reaching milestones, measuring results and ensuring a
successful open enrollment period. I’m particularly pleased to welcome
Kevin Counihan to the new Marketplace CEO role. He brings additional
operational and technological expertise to the position and will be a
clear, single point of contact for streamlined decision-making.”
In his role as Marketplace CEO,
Counihan will be responsible and accountable for leading the federal
Marketplace, managing relationships with state marketplaces, and running
the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, which
regulates health insurance at the federal level. He will report to CMS
Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
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Counihan is an experienced senior
executive with more than three decades of success in business,
marketing, operations, product development and strategic planning for
health care organizations. He most recently served as Connecticut’s
Health Insurance Exchange CEO, a role he was chosen for by Connecticut
Governor Dannel P. Malloy, and during which he oversaw the successful
implementation of the state’s marketplace, where enrollment exceeded
Connecticut was the first state to
surpass the goal for Affordable Care Act enrollees, and since 2012, the
state’s uninsured rate has been cut nearly in half – from 7.9 percent to
4.0 percent. Nine states have contacted Connecticut’s exchange about
implementing its technology.
As the Director of the Office of
Communications, Lodes will serve as senior advisor to the Administrator
in all activities related to open enrollment, communications and
external engagement, as well as providing counsel to senior HHS
leadership. The CMS Office of Communications is the agency’s focal
point for communication and public engagement initiatives, providing
leadership in the areas of customer service, website operations,
traditional and new media, call center operations, consumer materials,
and public information campaigns.
Lodes most recently served as
Senior Vice President for Campaigns and Strategies for the Center for
American Progress Action Fund, and Senior Vice President at the Center
for American Progress. She brings to the position a wealth of strategic
In addition, Tim Hughey of
Accenture, the federal Marketplace system developer and maintainer, will
continue to provide technology support to CMS throughout the next open
enrollment. Hughey has extensive experience designing, building and
deploying technical architectures and is a longstanding member of the
Accenture management team. He will focus on technology issues in the
areas of systems architecture, tools, security, and networks across all
contractors involved in the federal Marketplace.
“Secretary Burwell and I are
excited to welcome these new members to our team and work in partnership
to improve access to health care and improve the quality of care for so
many Americans,” Tavenner said. “These strong leaders bring a wealth of
experience to bolster our team and will help build on the Affordable
Care Act implementation progress to date.”
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