CEO of Access Health CT Heads to Washington

Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan is getting a promotion and leaving the department to take a job in Washington to oversee the federal health exchange.

Counihan will join the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services team as Marketplace Chief Executive Officer, where he will lead the federal Marketplace, manage relationships with state marketplaces and run the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, which regulates health insurance at the federal level.  He will report to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. 

He is leaving his job in Connecticut, effective Sept. 5.

Malloy said this is a testament to the success of the state's healthcare exchange.

“Kevin’s appointment is a ringing endorsement of the success we’ve had implementing the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. “Since we launched Access Health CT, we’ve cut Connecticut’s uninsured rate in half in this state and nearly 140,000 previously uninsured people now have coverage. We’re very proud of Kevin and sad to see him go, but know that the team in place will continue working hard to provide quality, affordable health care coverage to even more Connecticut residents.”

Counihan said he did not seek out the job, but was recruited.

Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman made the announcement during a noon news conference on Tuesday at the state's health insurance exchange offices on Trumbull Street.

“Kevin and his team have done a tremendous job ensuring Connecticut residents have access to high-quality healthcare. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished here—we’re a national leader with more than 280,000 people enrolled in affordable health insurance,” Wyman, Chair of the Access Health CT Board, said in a statement. “Kevin’s move to Washington is a loss for the state, but I know he’ll bring his strong commitment and considerable skill to his new role, and that is good for the nation. The Access Health Board wishes Kevin all the best in his new role, and we thank the dedicated team at Access Health CT for their continued focus on bringing affordable healthcare to Connecticut residents.”

Wyman said there will be a national search for Counihan's replacement.

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