Health Insurance Co-op Gets Its First Chief Executive

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A new health insurance co-op that hopes to offer coverage next fall for the following year has its first chief executive.

HealthyCT, the consumer-operated and oriented plan, announced Wednesday that Ken Lalime, 56, is the first CEO. Lalime was among 175 candidates. The Norwalk resident has served as interim chief operating officer of HealthyCT and starts in his new job on Jan. 1.

His salary is $340,000. There is opportunity some bonus, which would have to be developed and approved by the HealthyCT board of directors. There are no stock options, because it is a nonprofit, and there is no other compensation, such as a car allowance, the co-op said.

HealthyCT received $75.8 million in federal loans to develop the co-op, headquartered at 35 Thorpe Ave. in Wallingford.

The Affordable Care Act created consumer-operated and oriented plans (CO-OP)s to increase competition and provide alternatives to plans offered by private health insurance companies. HealthyCT is a nonprofit that plans to use any financial surplus from operations to benefit its members by improving health benefits, improving quality of care, expanding enrollment, lower premiums, among other possible measures.

HealthyCT is planning to sell health plans in the fall of 2013 to begin coverage in January 2014. The co-op is in the process of having its health plans reviewed by regulators at the Connecticut Insurance Department.

“Early in my career, as a small business owner, I learned the importance of collaboration and teamwork,” Lalime said in a prepared statement. “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.”

Since 1998, Lalime has been the executive director of the Connecticut State Medical Society IPA, which is an association of medical practices representing 7,000 doctors. Before that position, Lalime was chief operating officer at The Physicians Corporation, a business development manager at Primergy and he worked for 17 years at Norwalk Hospital. He also co-owned Cranbury Pharmacy in Norwalk.

Lalime is a registered pharmacist and he holds a bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Connecticut.

HealthyCT has one employee now, but the group anticipates having about 35 workers by the end of next year.

“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,” Dr. David S. Katz, president of the HealthyCT board of directors said in a prepared statement. “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.”

About Matthew Sturdevant

Full-time staff journalist at The Hartford Courant and magazine freelancer with a master's degree in writing from Dartmouth. My work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Taiwan News, The Baltimore Sun and many other news sources. My blog has been referenced by, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Georgetown Law Library and a number of organizations in healthcare and business. Sturdevant’s blog is "a well-written wealth of ideas," said The Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, (, May 18, 2011). I have experience writing for newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs as well as shooting and editing video. I made regular appearances on news-talk radio and on the NBC affiliate station in Corpus Christi, Texas. I made occasional appearances on the Fox affiliate in Connecticut promoting Hartford Courant articles.

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6 thoughts on “Health Insurance Co-op Gets Its First Chief Executive

  1. pete

    must be nice to have a cushy gov’t job. $340,000 per year plus benes and a juicy pension thanks to Barrack

  2. Bob Fortier

    So the State of Connecticut has added another 1% person to the payroll. They only hate the rich if they work in the private sector. Do you actually believe this pharmacy background is required to perform this job? What is the difference between his $340,000 salary to run an operation with 35 employees, and the $1,000,000 for those who run private operations of companies with thousands of employees?

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