Blues Pick Head of ACA-Backing Carrier to Lead Board

Serota will continue to be the Blues' association CEO

Paul Markovich (Photo: Blue Shield of California) Paul Markovich (Photo: Blue Shield of California)

The member companies in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association have picked an executive from Blue Shield of California to lead the association's board. 

The companies have named Paul Markovich, the president and chief executive officer of Blue Shield of California, which is based in San Francisco, to be the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's new chairman. 

Markovich will succeed Daniel Hilferty, the president of Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross.

(Related: Blues Association Re-Elects Daniel Hilferty Chairman)

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a Chicago-based group that represents 36 separate Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

Scott Serota will continue to be the association's CEO.


Affordable Care Act Implications

Both Independence Blue and Blue Shield of California have been active participants in Affordable Care Act programs, including the ACA public exchange program.

The Blues named Hilferty their chairman as Donald Trump was preparing to enter the White House. They named Markovich chairman as Trump and Republicans in Congress are trying make large-scale changes in ACA rules and programs.

The member companies in America's Health Insurance Plans, a group for all insurers, have picked Bernard Tyson to be their new chairman.

Tyson is the CEO of Oakland, California-based Kaiser Permanente. Like Blue Shield Kaiser Permanente has been a strong supporter of ACA programs.


Paul Markovich

Markovich, 45, has a bachelor's degree from Colorado College. He became a Rhodes Scholar and earned a master's degree in philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University.

He started his career as a management consult, went to work for Blue Shield of California, then left to work at several startups, including Definity Health. He returned to Blue Shield of California in 2002. From 2009 to 2013, he was the company's chief operating officer. He took over from Bruce Bodaken as the CEO in 2013.

The company now provides or administers health coverage for 4 million people.


The Cross and the Shield

Most of the member companies have the rights to use both the Blue Cross "marks" and the Blue Shield marks, but some have the rights to use just one of the marks.

Blue Shield of California has the rights only to the Blue Shield mark.

Blue Cross of California, the California company that holds the rights to the Blue Cross mark, is a unit of Anthem Inc.

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