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Laura Esslinger

Vice President, Duals Segment, Aetna

Laura joined Aetna in 2020, to lead the newly created Duals Segment. In this role, she has full profit and loss responsibility for Aetna’s Dual Eligible business portfolio representing 3 billion dollars of top line revenue. Her responsibilities include operations and strategy throughout the Aetna enterprise for Medicare Medicaid Plans (MMPs) and Medicare Advantage Dual Special Needs Plans (DSNPs), including Fully Integrated Dual Eligible (FIDE) SNPs. Laura credits her passion for improving care delivery to her sister who experienced access to care barriers while living with a disability.

Laura has more than 25 years of Medicare and Medicaid experience. As the Chief Executive Officer for AlohaCarein Hawaii, Laura reported to a non-profit board composed primarily of leaders from Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). She drove an extensive modernization of AlohaCare’soperations towards best practices including implementing bidirectional data exchange with provider partners, utilizing predictive analytics to proactively engage members and re-designing the model of care. She also led the development of a community reinvestment model called Wai WaiOla.

Laura previously worked at UnitedHealth Group for 14 years in various Medicare and Medicaid leadership roles in Optum, UnitedHealthcare Community & State, and Evercare. During this tenure, Laura held roles focused on national dual product leadership, business development and local market leadership. She developed new dual eligible and MLTSS programs in a variety of states including Texas, Arizona, Massachusetts, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and New Mexico.

She began her career in public policy and consulting, providing technical assistance to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state Medicaid agencies in the development of new waiver programs and dual eligible policies.

Laura served on the executive committee for the Association of Community Affiliated Health Plans, was a Board Member for Aloha United Way Women United, and is a Board Director for Ho’olaNa Pua, an organization dedicated to the renewal of exploited children.

A graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics.