; David W. Anderson New HealthNow CEO
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Press Release

David W. Anderson New HealthNow CEO

Piloted UnitedHealthcare of Southern California to major performance improvements

July 9, 2013

BUFFALO, NY – The board of directors of HealthNow New York Inc. today announced its selection of David W. Anderson as the new president and chief executive officer of the multi-faceted health care organization that includes the Western New York region’s largest health insurer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.

Anderson, 59, spent the last seven years as CEO of UnitedHealthcare’s (UHC) Southern California Health Plan, based in Cypress, CA. He was unanimously selected for the HealthNow leadership position after a five-month search and hiring process. He starts officially July 31.

“I am honored to lead a BlueCross BlueShield organization and especially one with such a leading market share and outstanding track record for superior service to community, members, and business partners,” Anderson said. “HealthNow’s expanding footprint and our market strength in Western New York gives us stability and resources for the coming health care changes.”

In 2008, Anderson inherited a plan with membership losses and reduced financial performance. From 2010 to 2012, internal operating income rose 43 percent and membership was stabilized. The financial turnaround was accomplished by Anderson and his team while raising employee engagement scores from a companywide UHC low of 56 percent to a company-leading 84 percent.

His UHC division had 868,000 commercial members, health care cost responsibility for 340,000 Medicare Advantage members, 2,700 employees, and approximately $3 billion in annual revenues— similar to HealthNow’s numbers.

Anderson is a long-time health care industry executive, having started as a broker in 1980 after graduating from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a B.S. in Finance. He’s been an entrepreneur, an executive in many facets of the health insurance industry, and is well-versed in competitive and highly regulated health care markets.

A Fort Wayne, IN native, Anderson was senior vice president and chief sales officer of Health Net of California from 2003-06; senior vice president for PPO products at Health Net Life Insurance Co. from  2001-03; and president of Health Net Dental and Vision Cos. in 2000-02.

Thomas J. Hook, chairman of the HealthNow board of directors, said the five-month search that resulted in Anderson’s selection involved hundreds of applicants and recruits, including internal candidates, and that Anderson emerged from a diverse group of finalists.

“Our board set out to find the best-possible CEO for HealthNow and we’re certain we did,” Hook said. “David will impress our markets with his health care experience, the communities we serve with his Midwest values and work ethic, and our members with how we will all manage the change that’s coming in American health care.”

HealthNow New York had estimated annual revenue in 2012 of $2.5 billion and serves more than 800,000 members. HealthNow is a BlueCross BlueShield Association licensee in Western New York and in New York’s Capital District, as BlueShield of Northeastern New York. The company operates HealthNow Administrative Services in Pennsylvania and California.

“HealthNow New York looks forward to continuing our corporate commitment and support in the markets we serve,” Hook added. “That is part of our future as much as it has always been.”

The HealthNow board established a CEO Transition Committee comprised of company executives and board members, and retained Russell Reynolds Associates of Manhattan, which has specific health care sector experience, to identify Alphonso O’Neil-White’s successor.

O’Neil-White, who served as CEO of HealthNow for 10 years and spent 16 years at the company, announced Feb. 25 his transition plan to retirement. He will officially retire July 30, 2013. O’Neil-White held the CEO’s position longer than any modern CEO in the 76-year history of the health insurer.

HealthNow New York Inc. is one of New York’s leading health care companies that provide access to quality healthcare and innovative solutions for individuals and employers. HealthNow offers a full range of insured, self-insured,and government programs and services, as well as life and disability coverage, dental and vision plans and stop loss coverage. Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, the company operates BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (Buffalo), BlueShield of Northeastern New York (Albany), HealthNow Brokerage Concepts (Blue Bell, PA) and HealthNow Administrative Services (across the Northeast U.S. and California). In 2012, the company had revenues of $2.5 billion and reserves of $550 million.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.