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Gov. Pritzker Announces Upcoming Personnel Transitions at Illinois Department of Insurance

Press Release - Monday, April 08, 2024

Chicago—Today Governor JB Pritzker announced that Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Dana Popish Severinghaus will step down from her role on April 15th. Popish Severinghaus has served as Director of DOI since January of 2021. Governor Pritzker has appointed State Senator Ann Gillespie as new Acting Director of DOI, pending Senate confirmation.

"Dana has served the state of Illinois admirably, helping protect consumers against predatory insurance practices and reforming the system to work for the people of Illinois," said Governor JB Pritzker. "She was a champion for Illinoisans who otherwise would have struggled to navigate vast, complex insurance systems, and I'm grateful to her for service. I am also pleased to appoint an accomplished advocate like Senator Gillespie as the new acting director and look forward to seeing her decades of experience at work making the insurance system better for every Illinoisan."

State Senator Ann Gillespie has been appointed as the new head of DOI and will begin serving in an Acting Director role in mid-April. Gillespie, who will resign her state senate seat, has served in the Illinois General Assembly since 2019 representing Chicago's northwest suburbs. As a State Senator, Gillespie sponsored the bill to create the state-based health insurance marketplace and has been a trusted partner on health care consumer protection issues in the General Assembly. Gillespie is a former business executive, health care attorney, and consultant in the health care field. She brings decades of experience in the insurance and managed care spaces to the role.

Under the leadership of Popish Severinghaus, DOI was instrumental in aiding Governor Pritzker in supporting and passing legislation authorizing a state-based health insurance marketplace in Illinois in 2023, and she led the agency in enrolling record-high numbers of Illinoisans in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace.

During her time at DOI, Popish Severinghaus increased headcount to better serve the needs of Illinois insurance consumers and diversified staff to advance equity. She also served as Vice Chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Privacy Protection Working Group to advance legislation to protect consumers' data.

"I am incredibly grateful to have served the people of Illinois and to have led the passionate and committed staff at the Illinois Department of Insurance who stand out among state insurance regulators," said Director Dana Popish Severinghaus. "The Department is at the forefront of regulatory enforcement, innovation, and policymaking, and we've accomplished great things for Illinois insurance consumers. It really was the opportunity of a lifetime."

"It's an honor to be asked to serve the state of Illinois in this new capacity, and I am eager to begin working with the Department of Insurance to make sure the system works for Illinois consumers," said State Senator Ann Gillespie. "My experience in the healthcare field underlies decades of advocacy and public service, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to continue that work."

The Illinois DOI regulates insurance industry behavior in Illinois, protecting consumers and fostering a competitive marketplace. DOI provides a central source of information on insurance providers as well as rules and regulations surrounding insurance, as well as an outlet to file grievances or complaints against insurance providers. The Director is also responsible for the operations of the Office of the Special Deputy Receiver (OSD), which handles the affairs of insurance companies placed in rehabilitation, conservation or liquidation.

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