Making Waves in the Individual Market: How Did We Get Here?

Thursday, August 16th
1:30pm – 3:00pm

The individual insurance market is experiencing seismic shifts due to the effective repeal of the individual insurance mandate and new federal policies that promote association health plans and short-term insurance policies. Dania Palanker, assistant research professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute reviews some of the major changes affecting insurance markets, including trends in rate filings and enrollment estimates. State officials reflect on what the changes have meant for their insurance markets, and what they expect to see during the 2019 open enrollment season.


Jennifer Patterson, Director of Health Policy and LAH Market Conduct, NH Insurance Department
(assisted by Jessica Altman)

Ms. Patterson is the Director of Health Policy and LAH Market Conduct for the New Hampshire Insurance Department. In that capacity, she is responsible for facilitating and prioritizing the efforts of the Department’s health policy team, including assessing state opportunities for market stabilization, monitoring federal law and regulatory changes, and coordinating with regulators in other states. She also oversees the Department’s market regulation of Life, Accident and Health lines, including ongoing market conduct examinations with respect to insurance company compliance with mental health parity requirements. Prior to coming to the Insurance Department, she worked for many years for the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, where she served as Chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau. Jennifer holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Oberlin College.



Dania Palanker, Assistant Research Professor, Center on Health Insurance Reforms, Georgetown University

Dania Palanker is an Assistant Research Professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) at Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute. She analyzes state and federal health insurance market reforms, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with an emphasis on insurance benefit design, coverage for chronic health conditions, and access to pain care. Before joining CHIR, she was Senior Counsel for Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center and worked for the Service Employees International Union as Associate Director of Health Policy after serving as Deputy Administrator of health benefit funds providing health insurance to low wage workers. Ms. Palanker holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and an M.P.P. from Harvard University.


Jessica Altman, Commissioner, Pennsylvania Insurance Department
Jessica Altman
Jessica Altman was sworn in as Pennsylvania’s Insurance Commissioner in March 2018, following a two-year tenure as Chief of Staff. Prior to her service in PA, she held variauous positions with the Federal government, developing policy and facilitating implementation of the ACA. In addition, she analyzed policy for the White House Office of Management and Budget while completing her master’s degree.
Commissioner Altman has a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Science in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University.


Weston Trexler, Bureau Chief, Actuary, Idaho Dept of Insurance

Six years as Actuary and Bureau Chief of Product Review at Idaho Department of Insurance, overseeing the review of all forms and rates for all filed products. Focusing on rate review processes and contract compliance for major medical, long term care, Medicare supplement, and others. Heavily involved in health care policy issues and initiatives.
Previous to the Department, was a consulting actuary with Milliman focusing on large employer active and retiree medical plans, high risk health insurance pools, and postretirement benefit valuations. Also worked several years for a health insurance company, dealing with provider network and pharmacy benefit modeling.