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John P. Cookson, FSA, MAAA

Principal, Consulting Actuary
Wayne, PA, US

Tel: +1 610 6875644

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Professional Designations

  • Fellow, Society of Actuaries
  • Member, American Academy of Actuaries


  • BA, Mathematics, LaSalle University

Current Responsibility

John is a principal with the Philadelphia office of Milliman. He joined the firm in 1973.


John's areas of expertise include all aspects of group health insurance and statistical methods for solving actuarial problems. He has substantial experience in trend analysis and forecasting, dental insurance, stop loss, and risk analysis. He has also dealt extensively with clients' market strategy problems. John has advised Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, commercial insurers, HMOs, and PPOs.

John has experience working with large self-funded employers in areas such as strategic planning, benefit design and pricing, IBNR, financial forecasting, establishment of contingency reserves, and catastrophic claims analysis.

John was the founder and publisher of the Milliman Health Cost Indexâ�¢ – a proprietary index of medical cost trends. He has been involved in the transition of the Milliman Health Cost Index to the S&P Medical Trend Indices, and in the continued monitoring and development of S&P's Indices. He developed the Hospital Efficiency Indexâ�¢ – a method for evaluating the efficiency of hospital utilization, and was responsible for the initial development of Milliman's Dental Cost Guidelines and Aggregate Stop Loss Net Claim Cost Guidelines.

John was a member of the 2010-2012 Medicare Trustees' Technical Review Panel, which periodically reviews the assumptions and methods underlying the Medicare trustee's short- and long-term projections of the Medicare program.

More recently, John has been involved in the development of simulation models used in the successful placement of a series of insurance linked securities tied to health insurance loss ratios ("cat bonds"). These models and the Health Cost Index also serve as a basis for Milliman's work in risk-based capital models.


  • John is a past chairman of the Health Section Council and a member of the Health Benefits Systems Practice Advancement Committee of the Society of Actuaries.
  • Work at Milliman

    • “I was offered a chance to come in, shake things up, create something."
    Work at Milliman