CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Owings Mills, Md., has remade its board in the wake of criticism that the not-for-profit health insurer was acting too much like a for-profit venture.
The company, whose sale to a California insurer was rejected by regulators, named nine new board members and a new chairman.
Michael Merson, former chief executive of the Helix Health hospital system, will chair the overall board. John Colmers, a former Maryland health regulator, will chair a panel that oversees the company's Maryland operations.
Merson and Colmers were picked for the CareFirst board last year by a state committee to replace board members who had approved the sale of the company to the California insurer.
"What you're seeing is a tremendous pushback in a number of states on nonprofits who haven't been behaving like nonprofits," said Dawn Touzin, of Community Catalyst, a Boston consumer health advocacy organization.
The state's largest health insurer had sought approval of a plan to convert to for-profit operation in order to sell itself to the California company for $1.3 billion. Lawmakers, however, criticized the plan and the executive bonuses tied to the deal, responding with legislation replacing board members and locking in CareFirst's nonprofit status for at least five years.