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Meeting of May 8, 2013 - Wellness Programs Under Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws

Karen Pollitz
Senior Fellow, Kaiser Family Foundation

Karen Pollitz is a Senior Fellow at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation where she directs and sponsors research related to consumer protections and transparency in private health insurance.

Prior to joining the Kaiser Family Foundation staff, Ms. Pollitz served as Director of the Office of Consumer Support, Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The new agency was created weeks after enactment of the Affordable Care Act to implement provisions affecting private health insurance. There, Ms. Pollitz directed the launch of initiatives including a network of state consumer assistance programs and a new consumer health insurance information web site, www.healthcare.gov.

From 1997 to 2010, she was a Research Professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Her research focused on the regulation of private health insurance plans and markets, managed care consumer protections, and access to affordable health insurance. She was also an adjunct professor in Georgetown's Graduate Public Policy School.

Prior to joining the Institute faculty, Ms. Pollitz served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Legislation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1997. In this capacity she was the Secretary's legislative liaison on all federal health care issues, including national health care reform, Medicare, Medicaid, and U.S. Public Health Service agencies and programs.

From 1984 to 1991, Ms. Pollitz worked as a health policy advisor to members of Congress. She was legislative assistant to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI), and the Subcommittee on Compensation and Employee Benefits of the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee. After leaving the Hill, Ms. Pollitz worked as the Assistant Director of the Washington Office of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and taught at the Marymount University School of Business.

Ms. Pollitz holds an M.P.P. from the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. with honors from Oberlin College.