Bruce Bodaken, chairman, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California, announced he will retire at the end of the year. COO Paul Markovich will become president of Blue Shield and a member of its board of directors on June 1, 2012. With Bodaken's departure, Markovich will assume the position of CEO in January 2013.
During Bodaken’s tenure at the not-for-profit health plan, Blue Shield saw membership grow by 50 percent and revenues triple. Blue Shield also captured attention for landing numerous large public-sector contracts, launching a foundation that contributes to the healthcare safety net and domestic violence programs in California, and imposing a 2 percent profit cap that paid out almost $475 million last year.
Bodaken joined Blue Shield of California as COO in 1994, and became chairman and CEO in January 2000.
In 2002, Bodaken became the first health plan CEO in the country to propose a specific plan for universal coverage. Based on the principle of shared responsibility, his plan is similar in structure to the Affordable Care Act that was enacted by the Congress in 2010.
The 60-year-old native of Iowa taught philosophy while earning a graduate degree from the University of Colorado. Before Blue Shield, Bodaken worked 14 years at FHP Inc. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine's Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care and serves on the board of directors of WageWorks Inc., America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and the University of California, Berkeley's Health Services Management Program. He co-authored "The Managerial Moment of Truth" Robert Fritz, published in 2006.
“It has been a privilege to lead Blue Shield and I am proud of our accomplishments,” Bodaken said. “We have consistently innovated to improve the healthcare system during a time of tumultuous change in our industry."
Markovich began his professional career as a management consultant at Booz-Allen and Hamilton before joining Blue Shield as leader of the product management unit in 1995. He left in 2000 to pursue a few entrepreneurial ventures before returning to head Blue Shield’s CalPERS Business Unit in 2002. In 2005 he was promoted to run the Large Group Business Unit, and in 2009 was promoted to executive vice president and COO. He serves on the board of directors of the Bay Area Council and the California Association of Health Plans. A North Dakota native, Markovich is a graduate of Colorado College and a Rhodes Scholar.