CONTACT: Luke Clarke
DENVER — The Connect for Health Colorado® Board of Directors on Monday named Kevin Patterson — a longtime veteran of public service roles at the state and local level in Colorado — as interim Chief Executive Officer for Colorado’s Health Insurance Marketplace. He will start his new position May 8.
Patterson succeeds Interim CEO Gary Drews, who has led the Marketplace since August 2014 and who did not seek the permanent CEO position. In March, Drews informed the Board he would be leaving in mid-May, but offered to stay on in a transition role as needed.
Patterson served on the Connect for Health Colorado Board as an ex-officio member from May 2013 to December 2014.
“We know Kevin well and he knows Connect for Health Colorado well from his service on the board,” said Board Chair Sharon O’Hara. “Kevin brings a broad public policy background to this role and is well positioned to step in and build on the progress Gary has made while the board continues to seek a permanent CEO.”
Patterson currently serves as chief administrative officer to Gov. John Hickenlooper and has an extensive history of public service. He has served as the interim executive director of three state agencies during leadership transitions, the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Governor’s Energy Office. He brings a strong understanding of state government and stakeholder engagement to this role.
He will be resigning his position with the Governor’s Office to become the Marketplace CEO.
“I am excited by the opportunity to help more Coloradans get health insurance, to obtain the healthcare they need and to enjoy the financial security that comes with coverage,” Patterson said. “I am looking forward to working with Connect for Health Colorado’s talented and dedicated staff on their mission to increase access, affordability and choice for residents of Colorado.”
Patterson has held leadership roles for the city and county of Denver in the Budget Office, the Planning Department, the Department of Human Services, the Department of General Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
As the governor’s chief administrative officer, Patterson has served as a member of the State Board of Equalization, the Capitol Building Advisory Committee, the State Internet Portal Authority, and he supervises the 10 gubernatorial appointed public trustees. He was elected to the Denver Board of Education in 2001 and 2005.
The board chose to seek a second interim to lead the Marketplace as it revisits its CEO search process with the Legislative Health Benefit Exchange Implementation Review Committee.
Under Drews’ leadership, Connect for Health Colorado enrolled more than 140,000 Coloradans in health insurance for 2015, keeping it among the leaders in State-Based Marketplaces. During his tenure, Drews instituted a long-range planning process that combines the vision of Connect for Health Colorado’s board with that of carriers, Brokers, Health Coverage Guides and other stakeholders to expand access, choice and affordability for individuals, families and small businesses who need private insurance.
“Our board of directors is deeply grateful to Gary Drews for stepping into a challenging role, going above and beyond a demanding set of requirements and providing us a roadmap to deliver excellent service to our customers as we grow access to private health insurance,” O’Hara said. “He has taken us a long way forward on delivering choice, access, and affordable coverage to Coloradans. We wish him the best fortune and continued success.”
About Connect for Health Colorado
Connect for Health Colorado is a public, non-profit entity established in law by the Colorado General Assembly in 2011 to create a health insurance Marketplace. It opened for business on Oct. 1, 2013, for individuals, families and small employers to compare and buy health insurance and apply for tax credits to help make their insurance more affordable. Customers can shop online; get help by phone or chat from expert Customer Service Center representatives; and find in-person assistance from certified brokers and agents, community based certified Health Coverage Guides or Certified Application Counselors. In 2014, the Marketplace enrolled more than 150,000 Coloradans in private insurance and helped nearly 100,000 gain access to new tax credits that made their health coverage more affordable – all while keeping fees among the lowest in the country. For more information: www.connectforhealthco.com