New Ex-Officio Designees Join the Commission

The Commission recently welcomed two new ex-officio designees, individuals designated by the Secretary for Administration and Finance and the Commissioner of Insurance to represent the perspective of those offices.  Pam Kocher, Director of Local Policy for Administration and Finance, is now serving as Secretary Glen Shor’s designee, replacing Candace Reddy, who had been A&F’s Assistant Secretary for Health Care Finance.  The Commissioner of Insurance, Joseph G. Murphy, appointed Debra E. Kaplan, Senior Financial Analyst in the Financial Surveillance and Company Licensing Section, to replace long-time GIC Commissioner Suzanne Bailey as his designee. 

The two new ex-officio designees bring complementary experience to the Commission as the GIC continues to implement Municipal Health Care Reform and our Centered Care Initiative. Ms. Kocher has day-to-day responsibility for leading the Patrick Administration’s efforts to build partnerships with local governments.  She joined the Administration in 2008 and was previously the Senior Research Analyst for Policy and Advocacy at the Massachusetts Municipal Association.  In her position at A&F, she helped develop 2011 Municipal Health Insurance Reform and oversees local governments’ use of the reform process.  “The GIC’s commitment to controlling costs while maintaining quality coverage is clearly driving change in the municipal health insurance market,” said Commissioner Kocher.  “The latest version of the municipal health law reduces barriers to access the value the GIC provides and gives health plans incentives for remaining competitive with the GIC by offering plan designs that mirror GIC plan benefits.”

Commissioner Kaplan, who has worked for the Division of Insurance since 1996, provides financial regulatory oversight of 15 Massachusetts insurers with a focus on Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and health insurers.  She has also been a key contributor for health care solvency regulation as a result of Massachusetts and federal health care reform.  She has revamped the HMO license renewal process in response to changes in state laws allowing for two instead of one-year licenses.  Prior to the Division, she worked for a New England mutual property and casualty insurer.

Commissioner Kaplan’s expertise will be valuable as the GIC moves forward with the Centered Care Initiative.  “This initiative spurs needed change in the market as health plans are pushed into new arrangements that reward them for delivering high-quality and cost-effective health care,” said Commissioner Kaplan.  “We will be looking for health insurers to enter into new arrangements with providers to share risk, coordinate effective and efficient delivery of health care, while remaining financially solvent.” 

We welcome our newest Commissioners and thank former Commissioners Candace Reddy and Suzanne Bailey for their service! 

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.