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Health marketplace official to resign

WASHINGTON — Gary M. Cohen, the official in charge of the federal health insurance marketplace, who repeatedly told Congress before its troubled rollout that it would work well, said Thursday that he was resigning.

Cohen is the chief architect of federal rules regulating the operations of private health insurance under the new health care law. He said he would leave his post to return to California at the end of this month, when the open enrollment period closes for individuals and families shopping for insurance.

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When Cohen addressed a conference of insurance company executives here Thursday, he was asked about problems that continue to bedevil the new federal marketplace.

As director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, Cohen has worked closely with insurers, consumers, health care providers, state insurance regulators and Congress.

In April 2013, Cohen told Congress that “we are on schedule and on track” with information technology to run the federal website, HealthCare.gov, starting Oct. 1. “I’m very optimistic and confident at where we are at this point,” he said then. In September, shortly before the start of open enrollment, Cohen testified that consumers “will be able to choose a plan and get enrolled in coverage beginning Oct. 1.”

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