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Life Health > Health Insurance

Short-term health distributor gets new chairman, new CEO

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An insurance distributor that benefits from problems with Affordable Care Act major medical coverage programs has shaken up its leadership team.

The board of Tampa, Florida-based Health Insurance Innovations has picked Paul Gabos to be the company’s new chairman, and Gavin Southwell to be the company’s chief executive officer.

Gabos succeeds Michael Kosloske, the company founder. Kosloske will continue to be a director, and he will take the post of chief of product innovation, the company says.

Gabos previously was chief financial officer of Clearwater, Florida-based Lincare Holdings, a home health care company, until the company was acquired. Before Gabos began to work for Lincare, he was a mergers and acquisitions specialist at Dean Witter Reynolds.

Southwell, who became Health Insurance Innovations’ president in July, will succeed Patrick McNamee as the company’s chief executive officer.

Related: Health Insurance Innovations hires president

Health Insurance Innovations hired McNamee to be its president in June 2015. McNamee resigned, according to a copy of McNamee’s separation agreement that was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

From 2009 to January 2016, Southwell as the chief operations officer at Cooper Gay & Co., a London-based insurance broker.

Health Insurance Innovations named Josef Denother, its vice president of operations, to be its chief operating officer around the same time it hired Southwell. Like McNamee, Denother has resigned from the company, according to a copy of Denother’s separation agreement filed with the SEC.

Excepted benefits

Health Insurance Innovations is best known for distributing short-term health insurance products and other health-related insurance products that fall outside the scope of the Affordable Care Act rules and other federal rules that apply to major medical coverage.

Issuers of the excepted benefits products can continue to use medical underwriting, impose annual and life time benefits caps, decide what kinds of products and services they want to cover, and sell the products both during and outside the ACA open enrollment period for individual major medical products.

Obama administration agencies recently completed work on final regulations that could limit short-term health insurance issuers to selling just three months of short-term health coverage per insured. Obama administration officials have argued that excessive use of short-term health coverage could hurt the ACA public exchange system and deprive consumers of ACA consumer safeguards, such as the requirement that all major medical plans cover maternity care.

Donald Trump, the president-elect, has promised to work to repeal and replace the ACA, and he appears to be on track to bring in federal regulators who will have a different attitude toward excepted benefits.

Health Insurance Innovations executives have suggested that the company could increase sales in the coming year by appealing to consumers hurt by the recent waves of increases in individual major medical premiums.

If the Trump administration implements quick ACA program changes that disrupt some people’s ability to afford exchange plan coverage, that could also expand the market for the products the company distributes.


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