April 01, 2009

Statement from Newly Appointed President and CEO, Mike Reitz


I am honored that the Board of Directors of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has appointed me as president and CEO in the company's 75th anniversary year. I have been with Blue Cross for more than 30 years, and I am proud of this company's strength, stability and exceptional customer service - and the commitment we've shown to the health of all Louisianians since 1934.

Like Blue Cross, I'm Louisiana grown. I'm acutely aware of the challenges that our state's residents are facing in the current national economic downturn. Even before this crisis, the cost of health insurance was a burden for too many people. We must address the root of this problem: the rising cost of healthcare itself.

And "we" means all of us - every stakeholder in the game, from insurers, doctors and hospitals to government, pharmaceutical companies and consumers. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to continuing our leadership role in the effort to keep healthcare affordable while adding value to our customers; premium dollars. We will continue to offer comprehensive and innovative solutions to meet the needs of every individual. I look forward to this challenge and to working collaboratively at both the state and national levels on meaningful healthcare reform.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana's 1,600 employees join me today in intensifying our company's focus on serving the customer. Each of us is well aware of the enormous role Blue Cross plays as an economic driver in this state. We are honored to serve Louisiana in this way, and we take the responsibility seriously.

At the end of the day - beyond our size and strength - we're still a local Louisiana company. Our customers can walk into a Blue Cross office in eight Louisiana communities and get face-to-face service from neighbors who know just what challenges they're facing. I'm so proud to have the opportunity to lead this exceptional company at this exciting and challenging time.