Oregon insurance commissioner to advise HHS on exchanges

Oregon’s top insurance regulator is joining the Health and Human Services Department to help implement insurance exchanges.

Oregon Insurance Administrator Teresa Miller will start at HHS next month, according to a department email. She’ll be a senior adviser on exchanges, working with state governments to get the new insurance marketplaces off the ground.

Several states have been frustrated with HHS’s approach to exchanges. State officials complained during a large meeting with HHS in September about the department’s proposals for a “partnership” model between states and the federal government. HHS wants the states to set up their own exchanges, but it has the power to establish a federal fallback in states that don’t.

Miller is active in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and Oregon is considered a leader on exchanges and in healthcare generally.

HHS has restructured its work on exchanges since the departure of Joel Ario, a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner who had been leading the HHS exchanges office. His duties were absorbed by two top officials in the larger office handling almost all of the healthcare reform implementation effort.