For Immediate Release: August 19, 2015

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board Names MacEwan Interim CEO


The Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board today took action to appoint Pam MacEwan CEO until such time a new CEO is named. She will be replacing outgoing CEO Richard Onizuka who announced he was stepping down from the role on August 28.

“I deeply appreciate the support provided me by the Board, Exchange leadership and our dedicated staff,” said MacEwan. “I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with running our Exchange and serving the people of Washington.”

MacEwan has been with the Exchange since the August 2012 in the role of Chief of Staff and has played an integral role in leadership of the Exchange and management of the organization. Prior to joining the

Exchange she served as Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Governance for Group Health Cooperative. She directed Medicare & Medicaid program performance and strategy, government relations, public policy, communications, and consumer governance serving on Group Health’s leadership team. MacEwan also served as a Commissioner with the Washington Health Services Commission implementing the Health Services Act.

“Pam’s work on the Exchange to date has been invaluable,” said Ron Sims, board chairman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Our board members recognized that her recent and past experience made her the right person to take the reins as we move forward.”  The Board will launch a formal search for a permanent CEO after 2016 open enrollment.

Since going live on Oct. 1, 2013, nearly 2 million people – one out of every four Washingtonians – have used Washington Healthplanfinder to secure health insurance coverage at low or no cost. A recent Gallup Survey found that the state’s uninsured rate has dropped more from 16.8% to 6.4% since the opening of the Exchange – the fifth highest such decline in the nation. Washington Healthplanfinder has also secured more than $400 million in federal subsidies to help consumers pay premiums and reduce costs of hospital and provider visits.

About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder is a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. The next open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins on Nov. 1, 2015 for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2016. The open enrollment period will extend through Jan. 31, 2016.

About the Washington Health Benefit Exchange  

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) to implement a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board. For more information, visit

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