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Marilyn Tavenner sets aggressive goals for AHIP

CEO wants to close a $2 million budget gap, lure back UnitedHealth and Aetna

By Annette M. Boyle

Marilynn Tavenner, CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), has no trouble setting her aim high. She plans to bring UnitedHealth Group and Aetna back into the trade group's fold, close a $2 million budget deficit, fix the "antiquated fee-for-service methodology" used for Medicare Advantage and repeal the Cadillac tax.

And she is planning to do it all in 2016, according to an article in Managed Care.

Tavenner took the helm of the insurance industry association, replacing longtime CEO Karen Ignagni, days after UnitedHealth left the group last summer. Aetna followed suit a few months later. Tavenner told the publication that the companies left over dues and governance issues. She has previously said that "the door is open" for the two major insurers to rejoin AHIP, though some have speculated that Aetna and UnitedHealth's exit could lead the industry to be represented by multiple groups in the future that serve a variety of interests.

Indeed, the group must balance the interests of the largest insurers, like Anthem and Cigna, with the needs of small plans and dental and vision insurers, Tavenner tells Managed Care

Getting the two big insurers to rejoin--and start paying dues again--could help Tavenner achieve another goal: getting AHIP's finances "back into a positive account balance," she told the publication. She also wants to cut expenses, including conference costs and consultant fees--which accounted for about 20 percent of the trade group's 2014 budget.

To learn more:
- here's the article

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