Maryland Insurance Commissioner Alfred W. Redmer is leaving his state job to become chief executive officer of Coventry Health Care, a Delaware-based health insurance company.
“It’s just a perfect opportunity,” Redmer said. “Coventry Health Care is one of the top performing companies in the health insurance sector.”
Redmer’s last day with the state will be Oct. 14, Friday. He said he is leaving quickly in part because “going to work for an insurance company that’s regulated by this office, I really didn’t want to be here any longer than was absolutely required.”
Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s office, which made the announcement Tuesday, said Deputy Commissioner James V. McMahan will serve as acting commissioner pending the selection of a permanent head of the Maryland Insurance Administration.
Redmer, a member of the House of Delegates when he was appointed insurance commissioner two years ago, had 20 years experience in private health care before becoming commissioner.
He was insurance commissioner when Tropical Storm Isabel hit Maryland, and came under criticism at that time from some storm victims who thought the state was too slow to come to their aid.
But Redmer listed his agency’s response to the storm as the his greatest achievement, saying the administration provided better service than had ever been given to flood victims in Maryland.
“We helped citizens collect millions of dollars they would otherwise not have collected,” he said.
Some Democrats criticized Redmer as being too close to insurance companies, unlike his predecessor, Steven Larsen, whom they saw as more friendly to consumers.
Redmer said the agency under his leadership took an active approach to educating and helping consumers, resulting in a decline in the number of consumers filing complaints with the administration.
Coventry is a regional health insurance company that does business in Maryland, Delaware and southwestern New Jersey.
Redmer said it was a privilege to serve Marylanders for 13 years as a legislator and two years as insurance commissioner, but that he is looking forward to returning to the private sector.
He said he will continue to live in Baltimore County with his wife, Sandy, and that she will continue to hold her state job as director of intergovernmental relations for the state Department of Agriculture.
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