Obamacare Insurance Regulator to Join Private Health Insurance Group

The chief insurance regulator in the Department of Health and Human Services is resigning to join UnitedHealth Group, Inc., as an executive vice president.
Steve Larsen, Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, has announced that he is leaving his post as the chief insurance regulator in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") to become an executive vice president at the Optum unit of the UnitedHealth Group, Inc.[1]

Larsen directed the enactment of federal insurance regulation arising out of Obamacare.
Larsen was charged primarily with directing the development and enactment of federal insurance regulations arising from recent healthcare reform legislation such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, sometimes referred to as "Obamacare." Mike Hash, an adviser to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, has been tapped as Larsen's temporary replacement.[2]

Larsen has said the departure is for personal reasons, but some insurance insiders have speculated that Larsen may have gotten "some indication" that the pending Obamacare decision from the Supreme Court "is not going to be good" and that Larsen "doesn't want to start over or try to pick up the pieces."[3]
Others are convinced that Larsen really is leaving for personal reasons though. “I don’t think it has anything to do with anything policywise, just that he has kids and he needs to find a way to pay tuition,” said Tom Scully, a lobbyist who was the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administrator under President George W. Bush.[4]
Before joining the HHS, Larsen worked for Amerigroup Corp, a Medicaid plan insurer, and he served as Maryland's insurance commissioner. Now, Larsen is moving back to the private sector by joining Optum.[5]
The Optum division of Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, provides health- care services including pharmacy benefit management, consulting, and wellness and disease-management programs for employers. [6]

No comments:

Post a Comment