• Joel S. Ario

    Managing Director
    Manatt Health Solutions
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    New York
    Direct: 212.790.4588
    General: 212.790.4500
    Fax: 212.790.4545

    Direct: 212.790.4588
    General: 202.585.6500
    Fax: 202.585.6600


    Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1981.

    Harvard Divinity School, M.Div., cum laude, 1978.


    Saint Olaf College, B.A., American Political Experience, 1975.
    Phi Beta Kappa.

    • Profile
    • Representative Matters
    • Honors & Awards
    • Publications
    • Memberships & Activities
    • Speaking Engagements


    Joel Ario, a managing director at Manatt Health Solutions, has 30 years of experience helping to shape and implement public policy, including two decades devoted to leading health insurance reform efforts at the state and federal government levels.  He provides strategic consulting and policy analysis to assist state governments, health plans, hospitals, foundations, and other stakeholders in preparing for the broad implications of healthcare reform, with a particular emphasis on planning for and implementing the new exchange-based marketplaces.

    Mr. Ario previously served as Director of the Office of Health Insurance Exchanges at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), where he worked closely with states and other stakeholders in leading HHS efforts to develop the regulatory framework for exchanges, including the rights and responsibilities of the states in establishing exchanges and preserving their authority over the private insurance marketplace. 

    Prior to his federal service, Mr. Ario was Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner from 2007 to 2010 and Oregon Insurance Commissioner from 2000 to 2007. Mr. Ario served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for a decade and was an NAIC officer from 2003 to 2005.

    Mr. Ario serves as an advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in support of its State Health Reform Assistance Network, and is a member of the Leavitt Partners Future Panel.   His publications include "Post Election, the Affordable Care Act Leaves the Intensive Care Unit for Good," (with Larry Jacobs, Health Affairs Entry Point, Dec. 2012) and "Public Exchanges Dominate the Headlines, but Will Private Exchanges Really Shape the Future?" (Manatt Healthcare Newsletter, June 2013).


    Representative Matters

    Honors & Awards

    CMS Award of Excellence, Center for Medicaid and Children’s Services, September 2011. 

    Excellence in Consumer Advocacy Award, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Consumer Representatives, October 2010.

    Neil D. Levin Memorial Government Service Award, Israel Bonds, October 2009. 


    Coauthor, “Reference Pricing And Network Adequacy Standards: Conflict Or Concord?” Health Affairs, September 18, 2014.

    Coauthor, "In the Wake of the Supreme Court Decision, Many Stakeholders Still Support the Affordable Care Act," Health Affairs, August 2012.

    Coauthor, “Health Reform - Genie is Out of the Bottle,” The Hill, April 2012.

    Memberships & Activities

    Speaking Engagements

    “Navigating Healthcare Reform: The Second Year,” Bloomberg BNA 2015 Outlook on Healthcare, Washington, D.C., January 14, 2015.

    Presenter, "Navigating Rate Regulation Under the ACA," 2012 Blue National Summit, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Orlando, FL, September 11, 2012.

    Presenter, "State of the States: Health Insurance Exchanges in Various States," Health Insurance Exchange Congress, Baltimore, MD, November 9-11, 2011.

    Presenter, “Progress Report on State Exchanges,” Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) executive briefing, San Francisco, CA, November 2011.

    Presenter, “Exchanges Put the Consumer in Charge,” National Patient Advocacy Foundation conference, Washington, DC, November 2011. 

    Presenter, “Exchanges as the Lynchpin of Health Reform,” Harvard Law School forum, Cambridge, MA, November 2011.

    Presenter, “Overview of Exchange Regulations,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) listening sessions in Portland, OR, Denver, CO, and Atlanta, GA, August and September 2011.

    Presenter, “Next Steps for State Exchanges,” National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), San Antonio, TX, August 2011.   

    Keynote Speaker, “Exchanges and Health Care Quality,” Engleberg Center for Health Care Reform, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., July 2011.

    Presenter, “Federal-State Partnerships on Exchanges,” California Exchange Board meeting, Sacramento, CA, June 2011. 

    Presenter, “Federal Perspective on Launching Insurance Exchanges,” AARP Solutions Forum, Capitol Hill, April 2011. 

    Presenter, “Emerging Framework for Exchanges,” American Hospital Association (AHA) executive briefing, Washington, DC, March 2011. 

    Keynote Speaker, “The Role of Agents in Exchanges,” National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Annual Capitol Conference, Washington, DC, February 2011. 

    Presenter, “Exchange Developments,” Bipartisan Health Policy Retreat sponsored by Alliance for Health Reform and Commonwealth Fund, Capitol Hill, February 2011. 

    Presenter, “Streamlining Eligibility and Enrollment,” National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), Washington, D.C., January 2011. 

    Keynote Speaker, “Exchange Options for Iowa,” State of Iowa stakeholder conference, Des Moines, IA, December 2010. 

    Keynote Speaker, “Overview of Health Insurance Exchanges,” America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) introductory conference on exchanges, Chicago, IL, November 2010. 

    Presenter, “Regulatory Challenges for State-based Exchanges,” National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) national meeting, Orlando, FL, October 2010. 

    Presenter, “State Role with Exchanges,” National Governors Association (NGA) health reform implementation meetings for state officials in Stowe, VT, and Seattle, WA, September 2010.