Richardson  Helped Lead New Health Insurance Exchange Through Its Historic First Enrollment Success; Johnsrud Brings Strong Financial Skills to Agency

Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee has announced the appointments of Yolanda R. Richardson (in photo) as chief deputy executive director of strategy, marketing and product development; and Susannah C. Johnsrud as the new chief deputy executive director of operations. In her new role, Richardson is responsible for developing and implementing the agency’s strategic approach to product development, marketing and sales to ensure Covered California is well-positioned to retain its strong customer base and continue its rapid growth by providing a solid value proposition for individuals and small businesses.

“Yolanda Richardson has not only done a stellar job in getting us more than up and running; she also brings to Covered California deep experience in private health plan operations,” Lee said. “She embodies the Covered California spirit of listening, learning and adjusting.”  Richardson joined Covered California in April 2012 as deputy chief operations officer, playing an instrumental leadership role in setting up the new exchange’s operations. She provided executive-level leadership over the direction of day-to-day operations for the agency. She also provided leadership over the design and management of internal control systems, organizational structure, all business operations and human resources. The salary for Richardson’s new position with Covered California is $210,000.

Johnsrud most recently served as director of the Financial Information System for California (the FI$Cal Project), which is integrating financial management for the state of California. Previously, she was chief operating officer of the governor’s office, providing counsel on fiscal, human resources, information technology and other issues statewide.

She also has served as chief administrative officer and chief financial officer for the state Department of Justice. The salary for her position with Covered California is $190,000.

“Sue Johnsrud has a wealth of experience in information technology, operations, human resources and complex financial management,” Lee said. “She comes to us with a great background and perspective to help us as we continue to grow and mature as an organization.

“Covered California has a big mission, big aspirations and a big job. With the team we are building — including Yolanda, Sue and our entire staff — we are positioned well to manage the challenges that lie ahead.”

For more info contact: (916) 205-8403


About Covered California

Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit


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