The Board of Directors of HealthyCT, Connecticut’s new Consumer-Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) for health insurance, has selected Ken Lalime, a career health-care executive and lifelong Connecticut resident, to serve as its first chief executive officer. Lalime was chosen to lead the development of the health insurance company from a national pool of over 175 candidates. Lalime, of Norwalk, has served as interim chief operating officer of HealthyCT. His appointment takes effect January 1.
“Ken’s extensive health-care background, his in-depth understanding of the Connecticut marketplace and his passion for improving care delivery were key factors in our decision,” said David S. Katz, MD, president of the HealthyCT Board of Directors. “In his interview, Ken told us how his belief in the power of community and partnership has guided him professionally; HealthyCT is an opportunity to act on this belief and truly engage our Connecticut communities and our member partnerships.”
In June, HealthyCT received $75.8 million in federal loans to develop HealthyCT. Created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), CO-OPs are intended to help increase competition and provide consumers and small businesses additional affordable health insurance choices. As a non-profit company, HealthyCT will use any financial surpluses generated by operations to benefit its members, including actions to lower premiums, improve health benefits, improve the quality of members’ health care, expand enrollment, and contribute to the stability of coverage for members. HealthyCT is in the process of applying for a state insurance license, and expects to begin providing coverage in January 2014.
“Early in my career, as a small business owner, I learned the importance of collaboration and teamwork,” said Lalime. “I am honored to lead this initiative, and I look forward to building an organization with these values. Working together with our community organizations and stakeholders, we will make HealthyCT a quality, affordable health-care choice for consumers and small businesses in Connecticut.”
Lalime has served as the executive director of the Connecticut State Medical Society IPA (CSMS-IPA), a 7,000-physician member independent practice association, since 1998. Prior to the CSMS-IPA, Lalime was the chief operating officer at The Physicians Corporation; the business development manager at Primergy; and he held numerous management positions throughout a 17-year tenure at Norwalk Hospital. Lalime was also co-owner of Cranbury Pharmacy in Norwalk, and is a registered pharmacist.
HealthyCT has established its headquarters at 35 Thorpe Avenue in Wallingford.