by Max Brantley
Cheryl Gardner, Executive Director of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace (AHIM) since May 2014, announced her resignation today. She plans to pursue other opportunities out of state.The marketplace, a federal-state partnership, was set up to function as a place for small business plans and to provide options for uninsured looking to avoid penalties of not having insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Among other difficulties, state legislation limited efforts to market the availability of insurance through the marketplace.
AHIM’s Board of Directors accepted Gardner’s resignation letter in a special meeting called this morning. In doing so, the board named Angela Lowther as interim executive director. Lowther currently serves as AHIM’s Director of Policy and Compliance.
“I appreciate the Board’s confidence in me to lead AHIM on an interim basis,” Lowther said. “We look forward to continuing our mission of providing access to quality health insurance for Arkansans.”