Bruce Bodaken is chairman, president and CEO of Blue Shield of California, a 3.3 million member not-for-profit health plan that serves the commercial, individual and government markets in California.
A native of Iowa, Mr. Bodaken doesn’t fit the typical profile of a health plan CEO. He earned a masters degree and taught philosophy at the college level before embarking on a career in health care.
During Mr. Bodaken’s 12-year tenure as CEO, Blue Shield has been among the fastest growing health plans in California. Membership has more than doubled and company revenues have tripled. The company won vigorous competitions for two large government contracts covering California state employees and U.S. military families enrolled in the TRICARE program.
Passionate about Blue Shield’s not-for-profit mission, in 2002 Mr. Bodaken became the first health plan CEO to offer a specific proposal to cover the uninsured. His plan for universal coverage based on shared responsibility is similar to the coverage expansion proposal offered by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007. He also transformed the Blue Shield of California Foundation into one of the state’s largest healthcare grant makers, with more than $125 million in donations over the past four years.
In addition to his work at Blue Shield, Mr. Bodaken serves on numerous professional and civic boards. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care and serves on the board of directors of the California Business Roundtable, WageWorks, and the University of California, Berkeley's Health Services Management Program. He is co-author (with Robert Fritz) of The Managerial Moment of Truth, published by Simon & Schuster (Free Press) in 2006.
Mr. Bodaken joined Blue Shield in 1994 as president and chief operating officer. Previously, he served as senior vice president and associate chief operating officer of FHP International Corporation in Southern California. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.