The Health Insurance Association of America has promoted Donald Young, M.D., its chief operating officer and medical director, to president, filling a vacancy created by the May departure of Charles "Chip" Kahn, who joined the Federation of American Hospitals.
Young, 62, previously served as senior vice president of policy and clinical services at the American Association of Health Plans and as executive director of the Prospective Payment Assessment Commission, the predecessor of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
He takes the reins of an organization with more than 300 members and 123 million beneficiaries.
"We are truly fortunate to have an individual with the experience and expertise of Dr. Young representing the interests of our members and industry," said J. Grover Thomas Jr., the HIAA's board chairman and president, and chief executive officer of Trustmark Insurance Co.
Young's appointment comes as some of its members have departed for the AAHP, which once was engaged in serious merger talks with the HIAA, and as both organizations are competing for a shrinking number of potential members (Aug. 13, p. 8).
"It continues to serve the members well to have two separate organizations," Young said in an interview last week.
The HIAA's roots lie in the small group and individual indemnity insurance field, while the AAHP historically has servedmore tightly managed HMOs and large group insurers. But as insurers have diversified, both organizations' memberships have begun to look more alike.
Young said the HIAA's members aren't heavily involved in HMOs but offer products ranging from PPOs to individual plans, as well as disability, long-term-care, dental and Medicare supplemental plans. Because many of those products are state-regulated, instead of federally regulated, the HIAA has tended to be more active in the states, Young said.
The HIAA's immediate legislative goals are to fight managed-care reform legislation passed by the House in August and the Senate in June, as well as pending legislation that would extend an existing requirement that health insurance plans impose dollar limits on mental health coverage that are no smaller than limits on medical or surgical coverage.
"We oppose mandates in general," Young said.