Former Medicare Head to Lead U.S. Health Insurer Lobbying Group

Marilyn Tavenner, who steered the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid agency through the rollout of Obamacare’s federal insurance markets, was named to lead the health-insurance industry’s lobbying group.

Tavenner will be chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for the group. She replaces Karen Ignagni, chief executive officer of AHIP, who stepped down to run New York’s EmblemHealth Inc.

The former Medicare administrator is taking the helm of an organization in turmoil. UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, said last month it’s ditching the lobbying group, calling its advocacy “limited and complicated.”

The New York Times reported on Tavenner’s appointment earlier Wednesday.

Tavenner announced plans in January to step down from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She took over the agency in 2011, the year after President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Andy Slavitt, Tavenner’s replacement at the Medicare agency, is a former executive of UnitedHealth.

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