DES MOINES, Iowa (Dec. 18, 2013) - John Forsyth, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield's Chairman and CEO, has been elected as Chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's Board of Directors. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is made up of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for 100 million individuals—one in three Americans.
In assuming leadership of BCBSA's governing body, Forsyth will preside over quarterly meetings of the Association's board of directors. This governing body sets policies for the nation's Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies and provides strategic guidance and oversight for the Association.
Forsyth joined Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield as CEO in 1996 and was named chairman of the company in 2000. During his tenure, membership has more than doubled, and he has repositioned Wellmark as a health improvement company dedicated to serving the people of Iowa and South Dakota. Under Forsyth's leadership, Wellmark has achieved exceptional operating efficiencies and results. As testament, the growth in medical costs and administrative expenses for Wellmark now rank among the lowest in the nation.
"Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies will play a pivotal role to shape and build the health care system of the future," said Forsyth. "I am proud to serve and lead in this tremendous time of change in the health insurance industry."
BCBSA is headquartered in Chicago with additional offices in Washington, D.C. Forsyth's term as BCBSA Board Chairman is effective immediately and runs through November 2015.
"John has been an exemplary leader, innovator, and steward not only for Blue Cross and Blue Shield members in Iowa and South Dakota, but for the Blues as a whole," said Scott P. Serota, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCBSA. "John's experience, deep knowledge of policy, and commitment to customer satisfaction will help guide our companies through the next phases of health reform while ensuring that our members nationwide continue to experience the quality, security and stability that they've come to expect from their Blue Cross and Blue Shield coverage."
Before joining Wellmark, Forsyth served in a variety of executive roles over a 26-year career with the University of Michigan. In 1985, he was named president and CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, one of the largest and most prestigious health systems in the nation. He is active with a number of professional organizations including: Co-chair for Iowa's Healthiest State Initiative; Society of Health Service Administrators Board of Directors and Program Development Chair; National Institute of Health Care Management; and has served on the boards of the Iowa Business Council and the Greater Des Moines Partnership among several others.
Wellmark, Inc. (www.wellmark.com ) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 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.