AHIP elects new board members

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Nine new members have been added to the board of directors of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), including executives from three Blue Cross Blue Shield plans and Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans.

The new board members are:

  • Gary Bhojwani, president and CEO-elect of CNO Financial Group
  • Kenneth Burdick, CEO of WellCare Health Plans
  • Patrick Conway, MD, president and CEO-elect of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Michael Guyette, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Daniel Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Peter Marino, CEO of Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island
  • Richard Shinto, MD, president and CEO of InnovaCare
  • Pat Wang, president and CEO of Healthfirst
  • Teresa White, president of Aflac U.S.

“In 2018, we will continue to have a national conversation about how to improve the value of health care,” AHIP president and CEO Marilyn Tavenner said in a statement. “These leaders are committed to ensuring the best use of every dollar spent on coverage and care. I look forward to working with them to promote new ways to improve affordability and quality.”

AHIP’s lobbying clout has been questioned in recent years, with two of the largest health insurers, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, leaving the group in 2016. Its been challenged over the past year by efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act—some of which, like the Graham-Cassidy legislation, the group opposed, while others it gave partial praise without fully endorsing the bill.

It responded to the departure of major members by changing its membership fees and governance structure, including naming its next two chairmen, first being Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish, who will now be succeeded by Bernard Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente.

“Joe’s leadership was essential as we debated how to make the American health care system more affordable and accessible for everyone,” Tavenner said. “In all our recommendations, we stayed focused on a few key principles: affordability, choice, protections for patients, and market stability. I offer my greatest thanks to Joe for his strong commitment to the millions of people our industry serves daily.”

Swedish, one of the few leaders in healthcare to openly endorse one of the Republican repeal-and-replace proposals, recently announced he’ll be stepping down at Anthem on Nov. 20.