Top Medicare Position Changes Hands

Seema Verma resigned her post as CMS Administrator following the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. Elizabeth Richter takes over as the interim administrator of Medicare until the Biden administration nominates a new administrator.

Seema Verma – who served as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator for nearly four years – resigned from her position effective January 20. Verma has been replaced on an interim basis by Elizabeth Richter, who has served with the CMS since 1990.

Verma took over as CMS Administrator in March 2017 and was one of the longer-tenured officials in the Trump administration prior to her resignation. She was appointed by Trump in May 2020 as a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Verma announced her resignation Jan. 15 with a three-page letter that read in part:

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“Serving the American people with the talented and dedicated staff at CMS for nearly four years has been an honour for which I will always be grateful.”

Who is Elizabeth Richter?

Richter will be the interim CMS Administrator until a permanent replacement is chosen. A new CMS Administrator requires Senate confirmation. 

Richter began her tenure at CMS in 1990 with the Bureau of Policy Development, where she worked on inpatient hospital payment policy and later on a variety of Medicare payment issues. 

In 1998 she transitioned to the Office of Financial Management and became director of the Financial Services Group in 2001. Two years later she became director of the Hospital and Ambulatory Policy Group in the Center for Medicare Management and in 2007 became deputy director of the Center for Medicare. 

Accompanying Richter in a deputy role will be Jeff Wu, who has worked with the CMS since 2011 including a leadership role at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. 

Other key positions changing hands with the new administration include that of Health and Human Services secretary, for which Alex Azar has been replaced by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and CDC Director, for which Dr. Rochelle Walensky, an infectious-diseases specialist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, takes over for outgoing director Robert Redfield.      


About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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