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Ario Resigns as PA Insurance Commissioner to Direct New Federal Office of Insurance Exchanges

Source: National Underwriter

Posted on 11 Aug 2010

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Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario has resigned his position in favor of a new one -- director of the new federal Office of Insurance Exchanges, a new unit that, beginning in 2014, will develop and oversee the Health Insurance Exchange system as a component of the health insurance reform act.

The official announcement was made by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, while a number of insurance industry officials in Washington said Commissioner Ario informed them of the appointment earlier.

Pennsylvania Insurance Department spokeswoman Melissa Fox said Commissioner Ario will be leaving at the end of the month, although the exact date has not been set.

Commissioner Ario has held his current post since June 2007. Prior to that, he served as Oregon’s chief insurance regulator from 2000 to 2007.

He serves on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Executive Committee and is chairman of the Climate Change Task Force and vice chairman of the Health Insurance (B) Committee.

Commissioner Ario will be succeeded as Pennsylvania’s top insurance regulator by Robert L. Pratter, currently executive deputy general counsel for litigation with the department’s Office of General Counsel. He was appointed to that position by General Counsel Barbara Adams on July 7, 2008.

Pratter was a partner of the Philadelphia law firm of Duane, Morris & Heckscher, now Duane Morris LLP, for more than 25 years.

He served as senior vice president and general counsel of the PMA Capital Corporation from 1999 to 2008.