April 13, 2023

Covered California Names Dr. Monica Soni as Its New Chief Medical Officer


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California has appointed Monica Soni, MD, as its new chief medical officer. Dr. Soni comes to Covered California after serving as the associate chief medical officer at New Century Health. During her time at the organization, Dr. Soni played a critical role in clinical informatics, provider engagement, value-based strategies and innovation. She is also a board-certified internal medicine physician with more than a decade of experience in serving patients.

“Dr. Soni brings a powerful commitment to improving quality, equity and affordability in health care for the people we serve, and we are proud to have her join Covered California,” said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. “She brings unique skills that are perfectly suited to Covered California’s mission to improve health care for all Californians.”

The move to Covered California will mark a return to public service. Prior to her work at New Century Health, Dr. Soni served as the director of Specialty Care for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, the second-largest municipal health system in the United States. There she ensured the delivery of specialty care across four hospitals, 20 ambulatory care clinics, the correctional health system and more than 200 community partners.

Dr. Soni has also served as the director of Continuity Care for Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center, where she led primary care, urgent care and transitions of care. She is also a professor within the UCLA Department of Medicine, and at the Charles R. Drew University Department of Internal Medicine, where she is focused on residency diversification and pipeline development.

“Dr. Soni embraces Covered California’s mission of making coverage more affordable and accessible, and her unique perspective will help us amplify our work around improving value, quality and outcomes, as well as reducing disparities,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California Health and Human Services secretary and chair of the Covered California Board of Directors. “Throughout her career, Dr. Soni has dedicated herself to making a positive difference in the health and wellbeing of others, and we look forward to her continuing that work at Covered California.”

As Covered California’s chief medical officer, Dr. Soni will lead Covered California’s Health Equity and Quality Transformation division and be responsible for health equity, health care strategy, medical policy, medical management and other clinical operations to continuously improve not only the health services provided through Covered California’s contracted health plans, but also California’s delivery system. The chief medical officer is also responsible for ensuring that the health care strategy, tactics and resources are in place to successfully advance the mission of Covered California and help the agency improve the evolving health care landscape. In addition, Dr. Soni will join Covered California’s executive leadership team and report directly to Jessica Altman.

A graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Soni graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition, Dr. Soni was a fellow in the California Health Care Foundation Leadership Program. She is currently a board member for Mercy Housing California, a leading affordable housing organization, and previously served as a commissioner for the Los Angeles County Hospital and Health Care Delivery Commission.

Dr. Soni will be replacing Dr. Alice Hm Chen, who stepped down in November of 2022 after serving in the position since November of 2020. Dr. Soni will earn $418,008 annually, effective May 15, 2023.

About Covered California

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 www.CoveredCA.com.

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