PROVIDENCE — Rhode Health Insurance Commissioner Marie Ganim announced on Wednesday that she will retire, effective early next month. Gov. Gina Raimondo has nominated former Medicaid Director Patrick M. Tigue to replace her, according to a media release from the governor’s office.
“I am extremely grateful for Commissioner Ganim’s service to the state and her steadfast commitment to health equity and affordability,” Raimondo said. “Ensuring that all Rhode Islanders have access to high-quality, affordable health care has always been one of my top priorities, and it is especially critical in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Ganim has “dedicated more than 35 years to state service in Rhode Island, principally in the area of health care policy,” according to the release. “She became Health Insurance Commissioner in 2017 after decades of experience in the executive and legislative branches of government and has worked at the federal, state, and municipal levels.”
Raimondo on Wednesday submitted Tigue’s name to the state Senate for advice and consent.
“Tigue is an accomplished executive with experience leading and managing critical efforts to achieve strategic health policy goals on a statewide scale across the commercial health insurance market and the Medicaid market,” according to the governor’s office. “Under Patrick’s leadership, Rhode Island’s Medicaid program served approximately 300,000 residents with an annual budget of approximately $2.5 billion.”
The governor’s office praised Ganim’s work during the pandemic, saying “under her leadership … Rhode Island became a national leader in expanding the use of telemedicine in response to the COVID-19 crisis.”
Ganim also was credited with instituting “mental health parity audits to improve mental health and substance use disorder service provision by Rhode Island’s major health insurers” and creating “the Behavioral Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation to support community-based providers.”
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: RI health insurance commissioner to retire; Raimondo nominates replacement