Lawrence Kissner


Commissioner of Medicaid


Lawrence Kissner was appointed to serve as Commissioner of Medicaid within Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services in July 2012. As Commissioner, he is responsible for all Medicaid services representing more than 825,000 Kentuckians and managing an annual budget of roughly $6 billion.

Mr. Kissner has more than 30 years of experience in the private insurance industry, including more than 17 years in managed care. Prior to his appointment to commissioner, he was most recently president and CEO of Magnolia Health Plan in Jackson, Mississippi, one of two managed care companies that provide insurance for Medicaid beneficiaries served by that state’s coordinated access network program. He served as vice president of sales and marketing for Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia from 2007-2010; president and CEO of UnitedHealthcare of Kentucky from 2004-2006; and held a variety of management positions at United Healthcare in Florida from 1995-2004. Mr. Kissner began his career at Metropolitan Life Insurance in California in 1982, and progressed through a variety of positions, most recently as regional vice president from 1991-1995.

Mr. Kissner has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame where he attended on an athletic scholarship and was a double sport letterman in football and wrestling.

Leadership Project

Build a Medicaid University that expands the capacity of the Medicaid agency by supporting cross training and the professional growth of staff.