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Anthem Blue Cross Head Steps Down

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, whose two year tenure was marked by controversy, has left the company. Now, consumer advocates are hopeful Leslie Margolin's departure will signal a new direction for the state's largest health insurer.

Anthem Blue Cross has been criticized for the past decade by health and consumer advocates for 'cherry picking' healthy clients while shedding high risk customers.

In one case, the company launched a highly visible viral marketing campaign, selling insurance to healthy twenty somethings willing to pay high deductibles.

Anthem also asked for state approval to raise rates 39%. That request was denied after accounting errors were found by the state.

Anthony Wright, with the group Health Access, says the change at the top raises important questions for the future of Anthem Blue Cross.

"As it looks for new leadership" asks Wright, "Will it take a different business strategy, or will it continue to pursue it's old tricks?

Anthem Blue Cross wouldn't respond to that comment. But it did issue a statement about the change in leadership.

The company wished former President Margolin well, while introducing a new interim President. Mark Morgan is the former V.P. of Small Group Sales, and the company says he has moved up through the company by improving small business sales.
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