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Aon Hewitt health exchange innovator Ken Sperling dies at 57

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Ken Sperling, a long time consultant at Aon Hewitt and a key force behind the benefit consultant's health insurance exchange, died Thursday at the age of 57. He had been battling cancer for two years.

Mr. Sperling, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, joined Aon Hewitt — then known as Hewitt Associates — in 1988. While he was involved in a wide range of benefit issues, his greatest recognition and accomplishment, his colleagues say, was the role he played in the development of Aon Hewitt's health insurance exchange. That exchange, launched three years ago with three employers and 100,000 employees and family members, now has 55 employers and 1 million employees and family members.

Aside from his work in developing the Aon Active Health Exchange, Mr. Sperling advised federal lawmakers and the Obama administration on the development and implementation of the 2010 health care reform law.

“Ken was widely recognized as a visionary, innovator, collaborator and leader in health care, not only at Aon but across the industry. He has been a driving force behind some of the most prominent changes in the industry over the past 30 years. The capstone was his pioneering work in the creation of the Aon Active Health Exchange,” Aon Hewitt CEO Kristi Savacool said in an email.

Mr. Sperling is survived by his wife, Ros, and two sons.