Kim A. Keck Named as Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s First Female CEO

By Thomas Price Friday, October 9, 2020

After the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced that longtime president and CEO, Scott Serota, planned to retire at the end of 2020, the search for a suitable replacement for him began immediately. Serota served as president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield since 2000, and worked with the company since 1996, leaving an immense footprint in the meantime. Filling those shoes will be the current president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Kim A. Keck. An accomplished executive with multiple companies, Keck will become Blue Cross Blue Shield’s first female CEO. Her impressive background gives those in the company, and those watching it, immense confidence to fill that role.

Kim A. Keck’s Background and Blue Cross Blue Shield

Kim Keck had a very long tenure within the health insurance industry before finally being named as president and CEO. Before entering the workforce, Keck graduated with a degree with honors in Mathematics from Boston College. Following this, she earned a Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Connecticut. Later, Keck spent 28 years at Aetna, Inc. in a variety of different leadership positions. The pinnacle of her time at the company was when she served as president of the northeast region and interim president of the southeast region. At this position, Keck was personally responsible for a whopping $20 billion along with more than 5 million members when combining Medicare and commercial segments.

Kim A. Keck became the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island president and CEO in 2016, where she was the first woman to fill that role as well. During this period of time, Keck looked after 450,000 different members and built several initiatives focused on cost, affordability, and comprehensive coverage. Another major point of her tenure was reinforcing aspects of the Affordable Care Act in order to expand coverage for as many different people in Rhode Island as possible.

Other different causes, which she made cornerstones of her agenda as CEO, included childhood obesity, housing insecurity, and racial inequities. One of the many examples of this for Keck would be the $800,000 grant to organizations focusing on health and housing. Even beyond this, Keck has been a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Board as a part of the Finance and Audit Committee, the Organization and Governance Committee, and the Health Policy and Advocacy Committee. Keck’s qualifications and accomplishments have given Blue Cross Blue Shield tremendous confidence in her ability to take over the reins as president and CEO after Scott Serota.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Under Scott Serota’s leadership, Blue Cross Blue Shield saw tremendous growth. From when he took over to now in 2020, Serota oversaw the company go from having 65 million members to boasting over 109 million members. Serota also spearheaded the creation and rollout of Blue Cross Blue Shield High Performance Network. This has allowed for large employers to find the level of coverage and price that best fits their company due to the healthcare giant’s access to value-based providers.

Even as Serota is leaving his position, he has been an instrumental part of lowering the costs of some generic drugs and expanding access to healthcare by partnering with Civica Rx. Serota’s tenure saw major growth from the company, but the laurels of creating more accessible healthcare at lower costs for more people remain fundamental to his time as well. With this in mind, given the same major principles being ingrained into Keck’s time at Rhode Island, the transition from Serota to her should be seamless.

Final Conclusions

Kim A. Keck’s appointment to the most powerful position at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is groundbreaking as more and more women take higher ranking positions of power in the business world. However, it is also abundantly clear that Keck is the most qualified person to take the job. Her successful tenure in Rhode Island, along with the clear efforts made to create affordable and accessible healthcare for many individuals, falls exactly in line with the initiatives created by Serota. Keck’s clear knowledge in the industry at all levels makes her a strong choice to take the helm for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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