Insurance Commissioner Afable retires from public service

By: - November 23, 2021 3:12 pm
Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable | Screenshot Wisconsin Eye

Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable | Screenshot Wisconsin Eye

Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable is stepping down next month from the post he has held since he was appointed by Gov. Tony Evers in December 2018 and will retire from public service, according to a statement issued by Evers. 

“Mark has been a part of our administration from the very beginning and his dedication to expanding health insurance access, protecting a competitive insurance marketplace, and building insurance awareness has made a huge difference in our state,” Evers said. 

Before he took his current job Afable worked as chief legal officer for American Family Insurance.

“I am grateful to Governor Evers for trusting me to serve and for his leadership as we worked to enact regulatory change, drive agency modernization efforts, expand insurance awareness among consumers, and continue Wisconsin’s legacy of having a strong insurance marketplace,” Afable said in a statement. “The insurance industry is in a period of great change as regulators and insurers evaluate issues of race, big data, and climate change. I have greatly appreciated the governor’s support as we kept those issues at the forefront while facing the unprecedented challenges of the past year.”

Nathan Houdek, the deputy commissioner appointed by Afable, will serve as interim commissioner when Afable leaves, and “will continue to focus on maintaining  a financially strong and competitive insurance marketplace to ensure that every Wisconsinite can access the high quality, affordable insurance coverage they need,” Houdek said.

Afable’s appointment represented a rare point of bipartisan agreement in the contentious political atmosphere around Wisconsin’s divided government, confirmed unanimously by the Senate in November 2019. 

While he is retiring from public service, a spokesperson in his office said he might be considering other opportunities in the private sector or as a volunteer. The announcement was made just before the holidays, the spokesperson said, because he wants to spend more time with his family. 

“We are so proud of our dad and we are excited for his next chapter,” said Afable’s daughter Claire, a law student at Loyola University in Chicago. “I know our dog, Roscoe, is looking forward to more walks with him.”


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Ruth Conniff
Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She graduated from Yale University in 1990, where she ran track and edited the campus magazine The New Journal. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.