Mayra E. Alvarez (Courtesy photo)

Covered California welcomed Mayra E. Alvarez as the newest member of its Board of Directors on April 20. Alvarez is a longtime health advocate and leader in health equity. She is the president of The Children’s Partnership, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to advance child health equity, where she has served since 2015.

“Mayra brings a long and illustrious history of public service to Covered California, one that is rooted in the Affordable Care Act and dedicated to improving our health care system,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California.

“She also brings a passion for health equity, ensuring that California’s diverse populations have the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.”

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Prior to her work at The Children’s Partnership, Alvarez completed a series of assignments at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of President Barack Obama’s administration. She served as the director of the State Exchange Group for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2014 to 2015, where she led a team responsible for supporting states in the establishment of Affordable Care Act marketplaces, including Covered California.

Alvarez also served as the associate director for the HHS Office of Minority Health from 2013 to 2014, where she led the coordination of their work related to the Affordable Care Act, community health workers and language access.

From 2010 to 2013, Alvarez served as director of public health policy in the Office of Health Reform at HHS, where she was responsible for implementation of the public health, prevention and health care workforce policy provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

“Health is fundamental to opportunity; it allows us to work, to play, to care for our families and to make a difference in the lives of others and our communities,” Alvarez said.

“I am tremendously honored to join Covered California and continue working toward ensuring that all Californians have the ability to get the health coverage and care they need to thrive.”

During her career, Alvarez has also been called on to serve by federal and state leaders. In 2021, President Joe Biden named her to the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. In 2019, she was nominated by Gov. Gavin Newsom to serve on the First 5 California Commission and the Early Childhood Policy Council.

She has also been appointed to serve on the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission by both former Attorney General Xavier Becerra and current Attorney General Rob Bonta.

In addition, Alvarez was a legislative assistant for U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin from 2007 to 2010 and for U.S. Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis from 2006 to 2007. Alvarez was a legislative fellow for then-Senator Barack Obama from 2005 to 2006.

Alvarez was appointed by Gov. Newsom and will succeed Dr. Sandra Hernandez, who was recently appointed to the Health Care Affordability Board. Alvarez’s term will expire on Jan. 1, 2027.

She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare and Chicano Studies, and earned a Master of Health Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

There is no compensation for the position, but Alvarez may receive a per diem and reimbursement for travel and other necessary expenses.

Covered California is the state’s health insurance marketplace, where Californians can find affordable, high-quality insurance from top insurance companies. Covered California is the only place where individuals who qualify can get financial assistance on a sliding scale to reduce premium costs.

Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Depending on their income, some consumers may qualify for the low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal program.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the health insurance marketplace work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the governor and the Legislature.

For more information about Covered California, please visit