Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper has tapped Joan Henneberry to be his architect for health reform in Colorado.
Henneberry is currently executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and responsible for managing public health insurance programs including Medicaid and CHP+. She will stay in her current role until a replacement is named.
Henneberry will then take on her new title: Healthcare Exchange Planning Grant Project Director.
“Colorado is well positioned to implement federal health care reform that meets the needs of families throughout the state,” Henneberry said in a news release from Hickenlooper’s transition team, Partners for Colorado. “We are committed to working with consumers and businesses to effectively and efficiently provide health care services that are both affordable and accountable.”
In her new role, Henneberry will be responsible for continuing the planning phase for a health insurance exchange in Colorado as called for in the Affordable Care Act. This will involve setting up work groups and committees; working with the health reform director and implementation board; working to assess through economic modeling and analysis if Colorado can sustain a state exchange; and continuing to engage stakeholders, especially consumers and small businesses, to ensure that the Colorado exchange enables them to purchase valuable, affordable health insurance.
Henneberry joined Gov. Bill Ritter’s cabinet as executive director of the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing in 2007. She previously worked in the private sector after spending seven years at the National Governors Association, providing consultation to states on health care services and financing, cost containment and emerging policy issues. She spent 13 years at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, chairs the board of the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, and serves on the Executive Committee for the National Academy for State Health Policy.
Henneberry earned a master’s degree in management and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 2008. She is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Under the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states have critical responsibilities for implementation of new federal policies. One critical area for planning is the development of exchanges, or virtual marketplaces, where thousands of currently uninsured Coloradans will seek information to select and purchase health insurance. Many of these individuals and families will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay their insurance premiums. Click here for more information.