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Kevin Counihan named CEO of Connecticut HIE

By Lt. Governor Wyman's office

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The president of a private health care exchange in California who helped implement the nation’s first health care reform law in Massachusetts has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange.

Kevin J. Counihan, who has more than 30 years of experience in the health care and health insurance fields, was chosen by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy from a nationwide pool of 75 candidates. He was introduced to the full Exchange at its regular meeting today and will begin as CEO on July 3.

“Kevin has proven that he is a real leader who can work equally well with consumers and insurance carriers to create quality health coverage,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, Chair of the Exchange. “I have full confidence that he will not only expertly guide the Exchange, but will connect with all stakeholders in shaping Connecticut’s reform plan.”

Counihan most recently was President of Choice Administrators Exchange Solutions in Orange, California, which helps states create exchanges under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. From 2006 to 2011 he was Chief Marketing Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Health Insurance Connector Authority, which administers that state’s health insurance exchange.

“Kevin stood out for the breadth of his experience in developing exchanges, his mastery of health care reform issues and challenges and his team-building abilities,” said Victoria Veltri, the state Healthcare Advocate and Co-Chair of the exchange’s search committee.

Counihan was a sales and marketing executive for Tufts Health Plan of Massachusetts from 1993-2005, and was a regional vice-president for CIGNA of Bloomfield from 1990-1993. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Health Policy at Northeastern University in Boston since 2009.

“I am delighted and honored to be part of the team implementing Connecticut’s insurance exchange and I look forward to the mission of providing more affordable health coverage options to all state residents and small businesses,” Counihan said.

Connecticut’s Health Insurance Exchange is a quasi-public agency that was created by the Legislature in 2011 and is charged with implementing federal health care reform in the state. Its 14 members include representatives from health care, business, consumer advocacy and insurance.

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