Medicaid Health Plans of America Names Craig Kennedy as New CEO

Policy expert has more than two decades of experience

WASHINGTON, DC (September 24, 2019) – Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) has named health policy and advocacy expert Craig Kennedy as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Kennedy brings broad experience with health care providers, public health organizations, and health advocacy combined with work in legislative affairs for both the U.S. House and Senate to MHPA. He most recently served as executive director of the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU). Kennedy is also president of the Coalition for Health Funding and serves as a board member of the Partnership for Medicaid, the largest coalition of providers and health plans dedicated to protecting and improving the Medicaid program.

“Craig is a motivated problem-solver, a strategic thinker, and a strong leader with a proven track record in Medicaid policy and advocacy,” said Kelly Munson, Chief Medicaid Officer for WellCare Health Plans and Chair of the MHPA Board of Directors. “His experience will be invaluable to us in our mission of supporting the Medicaid managed care organizations that deliver quality care to disadvantaged Americans and vulnerable populations.”

“MHPA leads the nation in supporting innovative policy solutions that improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable members of our society,” said Kennedy. “Health plans work to meet the complex needs of our beneficiaries while making the overall Medicaid program more efficient for all stakeholders involved, especially for our partners in state and federal government. I look forward to working with our members, our industry partners, and the many stakeholders to reduce fragmentation of care through more comprehensive integration of services. This is an exciting time to be working in Medicaid and I am honored to be able to help.”

While at the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU), Kennedy established the policy and advocacy infrastructure for the organization’s top priorities, including “Medicaid: Making a Real Difference,” and the “Campaign to Strengthen the National Health Service Corps.” He also increased total annual revenue each year, setting organizational records in 2017 and 2018.

Before his time with ACU, Kennedy spent more than a decade with the National Association of Community Health Centers, serving as Director of Public Health Policy, then Director of Federal Affairs and finally as Associate Vice President. He also held numerous staff positions on Capitol Hill, including serving as the Legislative Director for a member of the House Rules Committee.  Kennedy holds a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Willamette University.


Founded in 1995, the Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA) represents the interests of the Medicaid managed care industry through advocacy and research to support innovative policy solutions that enhance the delivery of comprehensive, cost-effective, and quality healthcare for Medicaid enrollees. MHPA works on behalf of its 94-member health plans, known as managed care organizations (MCOs), which serve approximately 23 million Medicaid enrollees in 37 states and the District of Columbia, or about one-third of all Medicaid beneficiaries in states with managed care delivery systems. MHPA’s members include both for-profit and non-profit, national and regional, as well as single-state health plans that compete in the Medicaid market.