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Health Care Service Corporation Announces Leadership Team Changes

Company Streamlines Approach to Affordability and Market Delivery to Spark Growth

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) announced today several organizational changes to streamline how it improves the affordability of care and delivers solutions to the market. The changes were initiated in part by the addition of a new member of the leadership team and a key retirement.

“As we ready ourselves for the time of year when millions of people make important decisions about their health care coverage, we’re proud to once again offer a variety of plans whether individuals get their coverage at work, through the individual marketplace or through a government program,” said Paula Steiner, HCSC president and CEO. “We’re also making important leadership changes to make sure we can expand our emphasis on growth and innovation and solve for tomorrow’s challenges.”

Rob Hitchcock, a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of government programs and retail experience, will join HCSC on Oct. 1, as senior vice president and president of the Government-Sponsored and Consumer Solutions division. With his leadership, HCSC will continue to expand access to cost-effective Medicaid and Medicare products in addition to the evolving retail product space. During the course of his career, Rob has led Medicare Advantage programs in 14 Midwestern and Western states for Humana, and Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and exchange programs in 20 markets for Centene.

Colleen Reitan, executive vice president of Plan operations, announced she will retire in spring 2018. Meanwhile, she will oversee employer group operations during the peak annual enrollment cycle and will help launch a new Employer Solutions division which services approximately 80 percent of HCSC’s membership. Reitan’s tenure at HCSC spanned almost a decade during which time she led almost every HCSC operating division, as well as most of its subsidiaries.

“Colleen’s leadership and knowledge of our industry was critical in charting our future course when we launched our entry into Government Programs, joined together with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana and entered the new health insurance marketplaces,” said Steiner. “Colleen’s leadership will be missed within the Blue Cross and Blue Shield family, as will her strong mentorship within our organization.”

As part of these changes, HCSC’s Health Care Management function will be consolidated under Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer Opella Ernest, M.D., bringing together all of HCSC’s medical policy, care management, quality and clinical functions to ensure better coordination between clinical and corporate operating systems and to harvest clinical best practices.

“This change best leverages Opella’s passion to make high-quality care more cost-effective for our members,” said Steiner. “She understands how certain tactics may need to vary while respecting local patterns of care and health care provider partnerships to drive appropriate medical delivery for our members.”

To translate employer, government-sponsored and retail demands into operating solutions that are successfully delivered at the local level, Jeff Tikkanen will assume the role of senior vice president and president of Plan Solutions and Market Delivery. This includes oversight of HCSC’s five local Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans and the functions that have strong connection to local markets. Tikkanen will work with the Plan presidents to leverage local expertise to drive growth and performance for all product solutions in their geographies.

“Jeff is ideally suited for this role as his career has spanned leadership positions in two of our states and across employer, government and consumer financed coverage,” said Steiner.

Together, these changes will streamline how HCSC delivers on its goal of expanding access to cost-effective health care coverage across multiple lines of business in the states in which it operates.

About Health Care Service Corporation

Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is the largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States. HCSC offers a wide variety of health and life insurance products and related services through its operating divisions and subsidiaries, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Dearborn National. The company employs more than 23,000 people and serves more than 16 million members. For more information, please visit, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter

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Greg Thompson
Health Care Service Corporation 


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