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Former Playboy CEO to run eHealth

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A pioneer in the online health insurance sales business is replacing one leader with two.

Gary Lauer has been the president and chief executive officer of the Web-based health insurance broker, eHealth Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., since 1999, and chairman of the company since 2002.

The company’s board recently announced that it has hired Scott Flanders to succeed Lauer as CEO, and Ellen Tauscher to succeed Lauer as company chairwoman.

Lauer “will continue on in an advisory role through the end of the year to help ensure a smooth transition,” the company said in an announcement of the changes.

The start of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange system, and the new PPACA limits on when people can buy major medical coverage without going through a special qualification process, has hurt eHealth’s ordinary individual major medical coverage sales in recent years. The company has been shifting toward focusing more on the sale of Medicare plans.

Read: More PPACA World earnings: Aon, Marsh, eHealth, Molina, Aflac

Tauscher included a statement thanking Lauer for his contributions to eHealth. “Under his leadership, eHealth has transformed from the nation’s first internet-based supplier of health insurance policies to an online marketplace with over 10,000 products and 4 million customers nationwide,” Tauscher said.

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Background of replacements

Outgoing president Lauer said he expects incoming president Flanders to position eHealth for continued growth and success.

The company said in a document filed with the securities regulators that Lauer submitted his resignation May 31. Lauer will get a $1.5 million cash payment and company-paid health coverage continuation premiums for up to 18 months.

“In submitting his resignation, Mr. Lauer did not express any disagreement on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices,” the company said.

Flanders, a longtime media executive, has been an eHealth board member since 2008, and CEO of Beverly Hills-based media company Playboy Enterprises Inc. since 2009. In the past year, he has attracted attention by giving interviews to explain why Playboy magazine stopped running nude centerfolds.Scott Flanders

Flanders has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Colorado and a law degree from the University of Indiana.

The company’s new chairwoman, Tauscher, has been a member of the company’s board since 2012 and the chairwoman of the board’s audit committee.

Tauscher represented California in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat from 1997 to 2009.

From 2009 to February 2012, Tauscher was the Obama administration’s undersecretary for arms control and international security. She was a member of the board of that oversees the Los Alamos nuclear weapons complex from 2012 through 2015.

Tauscher is now chairwoman of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s military and national security advisory council. She’s also a member of the board of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. The Hawthorne, Calif-based company, which is better known as SpaceX, makes spacecraft.

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