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WSLC’s Mosqueda appointed to Health Benefits Exchange board

OLYMPIA (Dec. 16) — Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday appointed nine Washingtonians to serve as the first governing board of the state’s Health Benefits Exchange, a new health insurance marketplace that will be available to individuals and small businesses beginning in January 2014. Among the nine is Teresa Mosqueda, Legislative and Policy Director for the Washington State Labor Council who serves as Chair of the Healthy Washington Coalition.

“This is a great honor,” Mosqueda said. “I look forward to working with the board and community partners to help build an exchange that is affordable, high quality, accessible and equitable, sustainable, responsive to consumer needs, and ready to go live come 2014.”

In addition to Mosqueda, the appointments are as follows, and in addition to the Chair, include eight members chosen from nominees put forward by each of the legislative caucuses:

  • Steve Appel, wheat and barley farmer and immediate past-President of the Washington Farm Bureau
  • Bill Baldwin, Partner, The Partners Group
  • Don Conant, General Manager at Valley Nut and Bolt in Olympia and Assistant Professor in the School of Business at St. Martin’s University
  • Doug Conrad, Professor of Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health
  • Melanie Curtice, partner in the employee benefits section at the law firm of Stoel Rives LLP
  • Dr. Ben Danielson, Medical Director at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
  • Phil Dyer, Senior Vice President at Kibble & Prentice/USI and former state legislator

As chair, the governor appointed Margaret Stanley, retired Executive Director of the Puget Sound Health Alliance, and former Senior Vice-President at Regence BlueShield and head of public employee benefits programs in both Washington and California.

Authorized by the Legislature in the 2011 regular session, the statewide Exchange is a major step under the Affordable Care Act’s national health care reform. It will be an on-line operation, making it easier for consumers to choose a health plan that works best for them, and providing access to tax credits and public programs such as Medicaid to make those plans more affordable.

“This is a well-rounded and extremely knowledgeable group of people,” said Gov. Gregoire. “They are committed to making the Exchange work for the people of Washington, and I have no doubt that under Margaret’s leadership they will succeed. I want to thank them for their willingness to serve, and the legislature for providing such a quality list of nominees from which I had to choose.”

Funded by a $23 million federal grant, the state Health Care Authority has taken initial responsibility for development of the Exchange, with the board assuming governance of the program in March, 2012. It will oversee ongoing design and development activities, and eventually be responsible for operation of the Exchange.  It will also provide input regarding any further legislation needed to move the project forward, and help shape the state’s request for additional federal funding available this year.

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