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Faris appointed to Board of Health marketplace | Politics

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Faris appointed to Board of Health marketplace
Faris appointed to Board of Health marketplace

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Senate Info Office) - Senator Michael Lamoureux of Russellville, the President Pro Tem of the Senate, announced three appointments Monday to the Board of the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.

They are:  Steve Faris of Malvern, a Lottery Commissioner and former state senator and representative; Fred Bean of Little Rock, president of Bean Hamilton Corporate Benefits; and John Denery of Little Rock, executive vice president and director of life and health for Stephens Insurance.

Act 1500 of 2013 creates the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace and authorizes the President Pro Tem to make three appointments. Faris, who was appointed to an eight-year term, will represent small employers and Bean will represent health insurers.  Bean was appointed to a six-year term and Denery to a four-year term.  Future appointments will be for six-year terms.

The act will put in place parts of the federal health laws that will require everyone to have health insurance.  Small businesses will qualify for tax credits for offering health insurance coverage to employees.  Public health officials believe that individuals and small business owners will be the main customers of the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each make three appointments to the Board of Directors of the Health Insurance Marketplace.  The Board will hire an executive director and staff.  It will oversee the development of an Internet site where people can get standardized information about health benefit plans, so they can accurately compare prices and coverage.

Also, the Board will establish a program through which small businesses can obtain coverage for employees.

Faris is General Manager of Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative in Bismarck.  He was assistant to Lamoureux during the 2013 legislative session and assistant to Senator Paul Bookout, President Pro Tem during the 2011 session.  As a member of the House of Representatives he was the youngest to serve as Assistant Speaker Pro Tem, Majority Leader and Chairman of a committee.  In 1997 Faris became the first freshman legislator to serve on the Joint Budget Committee.  He was elected to the Senate in 2000 and in 2009 he became chairman of the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs.

Bean is a past president of the Association of Health Insurance Advisors and has served on the board of LIFE and the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education in Washington D.C.  He is also a former member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Board of Trustees.

He is a past president of Arkansas State Association of Life Underwriters (now NAIFA-Arkansas).  Bean served on the Arkansas Insurance Department Exchange Committee, which helped draft a model for Arkansas small businesses to use for compliance with health care mandates.

Denery started his career in 1998 with Unum in Memphis covering Tennessee, Arkansas & Mississippi and earning representative of the year in 1999.  In 2002 he joined Stephens Insurance, LLC as Senior Vice President. Denery worked with some of the state‚Äôs largest employers on all facets of their employee benefits programs.  In 2006, he co-founded Stephens Consulting Services (SCS), a division of Stephens Insurance that provides consulting and auditing services on pharmacy benefits to self-funded employer groups.  In 2012 he was promoted to Executive Vice President, Director of Life & Health, for Stephens Insurance.