Public Office: Office of the Connecticut Comptroller, 1998-2004; Connecticut Healthcare Advocate, 2004-present
Current Position: Connecticut Healthcare Advocate
Background: Before becoming the state’s first healthcare advocate in 2004, Kevin Lembo worked for six years in current comptroller Nancy Wyman’s office, four of them as assistant comptroller. He has also worked in health-related programs involving home health care and AIDS education.
As the state’s healthcare advocate he has helped consumers in their dealings with health insurance companies. Last year, his nine-person office challenged 2,600 denials of coverage that saved health insurance policyholders $6.7 million.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell proposed eliminating the budget for Lembo’s office as a cost-cutting move — although the office was funded through an assessment on insurance companies, not from taxpayer dollars. Her action came several months after Lembo strongly criticized the Rell-backed Charter Oak Health Plan for low-income adults, a public coverage program, as not meeting the benefit levels required for private health care coverage.
Lembo initially explored a bid for lieutenant governor. However, he left that race when his former boss Wyman announced she would leave the comptrollers office after 16 years to run instead for lieutenant governor. Wyman immediately endorsed Lembo to take over as comptroller.
Lembo ran the policy section of the comptroller’s office for six years before becoming the state health care advocate.
“There is no learning curve for me as state comptroller, no on-the-job training that we cannot afford,” he said. “I am ready to begin to work on day one to tackle the complex issues that face our state and restore confidence in our government’s ability to get the job done.”
“I enjoy being a nerd and diving into these policies and budgets,” he told The Mirror in May.
If elected, Lembo would be the first openly gay person to hold one of the six statewide Constitutional offices.
Education: MPA Caiifornia State University
Personal: Lembo is 46 and married to Charles Frey. They have three sons and live in Guilford.