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Board set for state Health Insurance Marketplace

story by Roby Brock, with Talk Business, a content partner with The City Wire
roby@talkbusiness.net 

House Speaker Davy Carter, R-Cabot, made his three selections for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace board of directors, which rounds out the process for filling the newly created panel.

Act 1500 of 2013 created the board and authorized the Governor, President Pro Temp of the Senate, and the House Speaker to each make three picks.

The board of directors will plan and administer a new online site designed for individuals to find health coverage as well as get standardized information about health benefit plans to more accurately compare prices and coverage. The board will also establish a program through which small businesses can obtain coverage for employees.

Additionally, the nine-member panel will hire an Executive Director and necessary staff.
Speaker Carter has appointed Sherrill Wise of Little Rock, Dr. Jerry Jones of Cabot, and Greg Hatcher of Little Rock.

Senate President Michael Lamoureux, R-Russellville, named Steve Faris of Malvern, Fred Bean of Little Rock, and John Denery of Little Rock to the panel.

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) appointed Mike Castleberry of Little Rock, Chris Parker of Little Rock, and Annabelle Imber Tuck of Little Rock to the Health Insurance Marketplace board.

Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace is set to begin October 1, 2013 despite last week’s Obama administration delay of an employer mandate provision as required by the federal law.

BOARD BACKGROUNDS
The following biographical information has been provided on all of the appointees.

Sherrill Wise is the Vice President and Treasurer of Dillard’s Inc. During her career at Dillard’s Inc., Wise consolidated numerous separate fully-insured health plans into a single self-insured program. This increased participation while significantly reducing cost per employee. Wise also serves on the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care. Wise’s appointment to the Marketplace Board will be for a term of eight years.

Dr. Jerry Jones has spent his 43 year pharmaceutical career in Arkansas. He was most recently the Branch Chief of Pharmacy Services for the Arkansas Department of Health. He has worked for the Department of Health in various capacities since 1997. Before that time, he owned and operated Cabot Pharmacy. He was a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration Commission from 2001-2003 and from 2007-2011. Jones’ appointment to the Marketplace Board will be for a term of 4 years.

Greg Hatcher is the founder and owner of the Hatcher Agency in Little Rock. The Hatcher Agency is the top producer currently for eight different insurance companies in Arkansas. Hatcher has served on the Baptist Health Foundation Board and the Arthritis Foundation. Hatcher’s appointment to the Marketplace Board will be for a term of 6 years.

Mike Castleberry of Little Rock is the Vice-president of Network and Business Development at HealthScope Benefits in Little Rock. His appointment expires July 1, 2019.

Chris Parker is a partner at Eichenbaum, Liles P.A. in Little Rock. His appointment expires July 1, 2021.

Annabelle Imber Tuck of Little Rock is a retired Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court and currently serves as a Public Service Fellow and Jurist-in-Residence at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. Her appointment expires July 1, 2017.

Steve Faris is General Manager of Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative in Bismarck. He was assistant to Sen. Lamoureux during the 2013 legislative session and assistant to Sen. Paul Bookout, President Pro Tem during the 2011 session. In 1997, Faris became the first freshman legislator to serve on the Joint Budget Committee. He was elected to the Senate in 2000 and in 2009 he became chairman of the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs. Faris was appointed to an eight-year term.

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Fred Bean is a past president of the Association of Health Insurance Advisors and has served on the board of LIFE and the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education in Washington D.C. He is also a former member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Board of Trustees. He is a past president of Arkansas State Association of Life Underwriters (now NAIFA-Arkansas). Bean served on the Arkansas Insurance Department Exchange Committee, which helped draft a model for Arkansas small businesses to use for compliance with health care mandates. Bean was appointed to a six-year term.

John Denery started his career in 1998 with Unum in Memphis covering Tennessee, Arkansas & Mississippi and earned representative of the year in 1999. In 2002 he joined Stephens Insurance, LLC as Senior Vice President. Denery worked with some of the state’s largest employers on all facets of their employee benefits programs. In 2006, he co-founded Stephens Consulting Services (SCS), a division of Stephens Insurance that provides consulting and auditing services on pharmacy benefits to self-funded employer groups. In 2012 he was promoted to Executive Vice President, Director of Life & Health, for Stephens Insurance. Denery’s term is for four years.

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