CHICAGO – Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer, today announced the departure of President and CEO Paula Steiner, who led the organization since 2016. HCSC board member and former energy executive David J. Lesar will serve as interim CEO until Steiner’s replacement is named. Maurice Smith, who has been with the company for more than two decades, most recently as president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, has been named president of HCSC.
As president and CEO of HCSC, Steiner stabilized the company’s presence in the Affordable Care Act exchange market and continued its expansion into the Medicare and Medicaid programs. She spent 35 years in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield system.
“Paula led the company through significant industry change and oversaw our continued diversification and steady growth,” said Milton Carroll, Chairman of the HCSC Board of Directors. “We are grateful to Paula for her many years of leadership and service to HCSC and our 16 million members, and we wish her well in future endeavors.
“The Board has complete confidence in Dave and Maurice to lead our great company forward,” Carroll said. “As we look to the future and our next generation of leadership, our commitment to standing with our members in sickness and health will not change.”
A search for Steiner’s replacement will begin immediately.
Lesar, who spent 25 years in the energy industry, including 17 as a CEO, joined HCSC’s Board of Directors in 2018. A Wisconsin native, Lesar worked at Arthur Andersen for 16 years as a certified public accountant in its Dallas and Chicago headquarter offices. He has also served on the board of directors of several companies, most recently Agrium, Inc.
“HCSC is a strong company that exists, first and foremost, to serve its members,” said Lesar. “I look forward to partnering with Maurice and the leadership team to advance our important mission, and to working with the board to identify HCSC’s next CEO.”
Before being named the president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois in 2015, Smith held roles of increasing responsibility at HCSC including senior vice president of Treasury, Business Development and Subsidiary Management.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to continue working with HCSC’s 23,000 employees to further serve our communities and expand access to quality, affordable health care,” said Smith.
About Health Care Service Corporation
Health Care Service Corporation is the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with more than 16 million members in its health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. A Mutual Legal Reserve Company, HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, please visit HCSC.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.