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Blues association re-elects Daniel Hilferty chairman

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One of the two major health insurer trade groups will go into negotiations over the fate of the Affordable Care Act with the same leader at the top.

Members of the Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association have elected Daniel Hilferty to a second term as the chairman of its board.

Hilferty is the president and chief executive officer of Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross.

Related: Execs head to White House meeting 

America’s Health Insurance Plans, a Washington-based group that represents health insurers inside and outside the Blues association, has picked Joseph Swedish, the chairman of Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc., to be its chairman in 2017. Swedish will succeed Mark Ganz, the president of Portland, Oregon-based Cambia Health Solutions.

Hilferty is a member of the AHIP board, and he is also a member of the AHIP board’s executive committee.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association controls the rights to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield trademarks. It represents 36 separate organizations that provide health coverage for a total of about 106 million U.S. residents, or about one-third of the U.S. population.

The companies in the Blues association helped create the modern U.S. health insurance system starting in the 1920s. Some of the Blues are nonprofit organizations; some are for-profit, member-owned mutual insurers; and one, Anthem, is a publicly traded for-profit company.

Hilferty was one of the executives who headed to the White House in October 2013 to talk about the glitches at, the system the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set up to handle ACA exchange enrollment and application administration for states that are unwilling or unable to handle ACA exchange enrollment services for their residents.

Most of the Blues have participated in their states’ ACA public exchange programs, but some have stayed on the sidelines because of pricing adequacy and uncertainty concerns. Some have taken big financial hits over the past 18 months as a result of problems with two ACA insurer stabilization programs, the ACA risk corridors program and the ACA risk-adjustment program.

Hilferty said in a statement that the Blues’ work is more important than ever as the pace of change continues to accelerate.

“It is my privilege to lead the board as we continue to advocate for a sustainable system,” Hilferty said.


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