2019 Leader of Today Awardee
John Baackes is Chief Executive Officer of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan serving over two million members. L.A. Care is dedicated to providing access to quality and affordable health care for Los Angeles County residents through a variety of health coverage programs, including Medicaid, L.A. Care Covered™ (California Health Benefit Exchange), L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan (duals demonstration pilot), and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan.
Mr. Baackes works collaboratively with the Board of Governors to set the organization’s strategic vision and ensure its successful implementation. He also oversees the day-to-day operations, while guiding L.A. Care through the ever-evolving health care landscape. Additionally, he is responsible for maintaining the integrity, quality and accountability of the health services L.A. Care provides to its members.
Mr. Baackes brings more than 40 years of health care experience. Before joining L.A. Care, he served as president of Philadelphia-based AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans where he oversaw the Medicare Advantage business unit. Prior to that position, Mr. Baackes was CEO of Senior Whole Health in Cambridge, MA, a voluntary health care plan for more than 10,000 low-income seniors in Massachusetts and New York.
He currently serves on the boards of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Medicaid Health Plans of America (MHPA), California Association of Health Plans (CAHP), and Local Health Plans of California (LHPC), Project Angel Food, and serves as Chair of the SNP Alliance.
Throughout his career, Mr. Baackes has served in a number of executive leadership roles across the health care industry, including Senior Vice President for Group Health Incorporated in Albany, NY; President of Kaiser Permanente’s Northeast Division in Latham, NY; and CEO of Community Health Plan, also in Latham. He is also a trustee at Southern Vermont College.
Mr. Baackes holds a bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and is a native of Evanston, IL.