Anthem CEO Resigns From Post Following Rate Hike Controversy
On Tuesday, Leslie Margolin announced her resignation as CEO of Anthem Blue Cross after facing months of criticism from lawmakers, government regulators and policyholders over the company's planned rate increases, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Both Margolin and Anthem said her departure is unrelated to the rate hikes (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 7/21). Monday was Margolin'sÂ final day with the company (Calvan, Sacramento Bee, 7/20).
Background on Margolin, Rate Hikes
Margolin led Anthem for two-and-a-half years, where she sought to emphasize customer care and contain health costs by entering into partnerships with hospitals, doctors and other medical providers.
However, she became the target of public backlash a few months ago when Anthem announced planned rate hikes of up to 39% for about 800,000 individual policyholders.
After the announcement, lawmakers and the Obama administration pointed to Anthem as an example of insurer excess, and Margolin was called upon on numerous occasions to defend the company's actions (Los Angeles Times, 7/21).
On Tuesday, Margolin released a statement acknowledging the controversy. However, she defended her record at the company, saying that the "commercial book of business under my control exceeded goals far beyond anyone's expectations."
Margolin now will lead the group Transforming Health Care, a self-described coalition of hospitals, physician groups, health plans, employers and consumer advocates (Sacramento Bee, 7/20).
Mark Morgan, vice president of small group sales at Anthem, will assume the position of CEO on an interim basis, according to Anthem's parent company WellPoint (Avery, Wall Street Journal, 7/21).
On Tuesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on Margolin's resignation. The segment includes comments from Anthony Wright of the advocacy group Health Access (Sepulvado, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 7/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.