Society of Insurance Research Announces Health Advisory Panel

INDIANAPOLIS, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society of Insurance Research (SIR) has announced the formation of a Health Advisory Panel to help guide the Society's outreach to attract and serve providers and users of research about health insurance.

"This panel of thought leaders will guide the Society's continuing initiative to individuals, carriers, and providers on the health side of our industry," says SIR President Candace Thornton. "As we continue and build upon the initiative launched in 2009, we are relying heavily on this core group to identify ways the Society can be of service to their side of the insurance industry, and to select content for SIR programs that will attract more participation from their counterparts at other health insurance carriers and their suppliers."

Chairing the panel is Richard Skyba, SIR Vice President - Events, who is also Director of Products and Marketing at Oregon-based Regence Life and Health. "The SIR is ready to meet the needs of an underserved constituency in the health insurance space," says Skyba. "The Society provides a unique forum for researchers, product developers, marketers, and others who are shaping the future of health insurance to share insight and analysis regarding emerging challenges and opportunities. The SIR has been performing this function in the Property & Casualty business for more than 40 years, and attending recent SIR conferences I have been struck by the synergies to be had by sharing ideas and best practices across the different lines of business."

"The outreach to health insurers could not be more timely," adds Mr. Skyba, "since whether or not last year's federal legislation survives the Constitutional objections and other challenges by the states and in Congress, the current debate is bound to spur major changes in the design and delivery of health insurance products over the next several years."

Founding members of the SIR Health Advisory Panel are:

  • Richard Skyba (Chair), Regence Life and Health
  • Alison Hirst, BCBS Massachusetts
  • Anne Rozga, BCBS Minnesota
  • Dan Belvin, BCBS Rhode Island
  • Jodi Portnoy, BlueCross BlueShield Association
  • Ron Zezza, Highmark, Inc.
  • Sarah Martin, BCBS South Carolina
  • Sharon Szalay, BCBS Michigan

The Society of Insurance Research is a not-for-profit professional association whose membership is open to individuals and organizations with any interest in research by, for, or about the insurance business. Persons interested in participating in SIR events or activities, including the Society's health insurance initiative, are encouraged to contact the SIR Executive Director at [email protected] or 317-398-3684.

For 2011, the SIR plans to include health insurance topics in webinars and at the Society's 41st Annual Conference which will be held in Long Beach, CA, October 16-19. Details of each of these offerings are to be announced soon. Interested persons can enter their email address at to receive more information as it becomes available.

About the SIR

The SIR is a leading forum for insurance practitioners from all aspects of the industry, focusing on emerging research approaches and industry issues for the benefit of individual members and their employers. SIR members have accountabilities in research, product development, competitive intelligence, marketing, strategic planning, and many other disciplines within the business.

For more information, see, email [email protected], or call SIR Executive Director Ed Budd at 317-398-3684.

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SOURCE Society of Insurance Research