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50% Names Counihan Its First CEO

Kevin Counihan, who ran Connecticut's successful state-based health insurance exchange, becomes's leader.

Nearly a year after its launch, has its first-ever CEO.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Kevin Counihan as Marketplace CEO of, the federal healthcare marketplace.

Counihan will run operations, manage relationships with state exchanges, and run the regulatory Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, according to a press release. He will report to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.

Previously, Counihan served as CEO of Connecticut's health exchange, arguably the most successful of the state healthcare exchanges created by the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. As the release about his appointment points out: "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."

Maryland is planning to useConnecticut's technology for the upcoming enrollment period, and several other states have contacted the state about using its platform.

"Kevin is a great fit," Joel S. Ario told InformationWeek in a phone interview. Now a managing director at Manatt Health Solutions, an interdisciplinary policy and business advisory division of the law and consulting firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Ario was the first director of the Office of Health Insurance Exchanges at the US Department of Health & Human Services, serving in 2010 and 2011.

Noting Counihan's experience in Connecticut and as a health insurance executive before that, Ario said Counihan "knows how to market insurance over the web."

Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek

Ellis Booker has held senior editorial posts at a number of A-list IT publications, including UBM's InternetWeek, Mecklermedia's Web Week, and IDG's Computerworld. At Computerworld, he led Internet and electronic commerce coverage in the early days of the web and was ... View Full Bio

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