HealthCare.Gov Gets First CEO: Access Health CT's Kevin Counihan Named Chief Executive of Federal Obamacare Website
The Department of Health and Human Services named the first chief executive officer for the federal health care insurance marketplace, also known as HealthCare.gov.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced Kevin Counihan as HealthCare.gov's CEO. Counihan previously oversaw Connecticut's health insurance marketplace -- Access Health CT. Connecticut has been acclaimed for reducing the state's uninsured rate from 7.9 percent in 2012 to 4 percent. According to CNBC, Connecticut was the first state to achieve its goal of private enrollment of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. During the first six-month enrollment period, Connecticut enrolled more than double its original goal of 100,000 people. As of April 17, 208,301 Connecticut residents had enrolled in the state's health insurance plans.
Burwell said she's committed to retaining, developing and recruiting the "best talent" available since her confirmation as HHS secretary.
"I'm particularly pleased to welcome Kevin Counihan to the new Marketplace CEO role," said Burwell in a statement. "He brings additional operational and technological expertise to the position and will be a clear, single point of contact for streamlined decision-making."
Burwell noted HHS is building strong teams with the focus and knowledge to expand her department's mission for the people they serve, adding, "We are committed to instilling ongoing accountability for reaching milestones, measuring results and ensuring a successful open enrollment period."
During a press conference, Counihan said keeping things simple has been a successful approach for the state's health insurance exchange.
Counihan said, "I think this idea about trying to keep things as efficient and cheap as possible, and simple as possible, has a lot of value whether it's to a state or to the federal government. And, as I said, I just believe that this is about simplicity and ease in doing everything that either the states or the feds can do to make a complex purchasing decision easy as possible."
"As the head of Connecticut's health insurance marketplace, Kevin Counihan set the gold standard for results, accountability and access to affordable health care. He spearheaded an effort that exceeded enrollment estimates and made our exchange the national model, prompting nine other states to contact Connecticut about implementing our technology," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT.
"Kevin Counihan has been a tremendous leader and advocate for consumers in Connecticut, and on the national stage at CMS, he will be able to replicate our successes on the national stage. Secretary Burwell and Kevin Counihan will make a fantastic and indefatigable team," Blumenthal added.
Unlike HealthCare.gov's launch, Access Health CT was reported to have had a smoother start in October 2013. The Hartford Courant, however, acknowledged the hurdles Access Health CT encountered such as posting warnings about misinformation on the website and over 5,700 individuals received incorrect tax credits or subsidies.
Counihan will report to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the HHS' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The second health care enrollment period begins Nov. 15.
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!