Senior manager leaves position at Md. Blues New president making changes

June 10, 1993|By Patricia Meisol | Patricia Meisol,Staff Writer

The senior manager in charge of insurance operations for Blu Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland left the company this week, two months after William L. Jews took over as the company's president.

Linda S. Benedict, who oversaw divisions that bring in 75 percent of the Blues' annual revenues, left Tuesday. She was promoted to senior vice president in November in a shake-up that followed a highly critical assessment of Blues management by a U.S. Senate subcommittee.

Ms. Benedict's departure signals the beginning of changes by Mr. Jews, who took over in early April with the mandate of restoring the troubled insurer's financial health. Ms. Benedict's duties will be assumed temporarily by Michael Felber, vice president of government business.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield has to change the way it does business," the company said yesterday in a statement announcing Ms. Benedict's departure.

"It has to improve. This will result in organizational and personnel changes. It is natural that, as a result of this, people will leave."

L Reached at home yesterday, Ms. Benedict declined to comment.

Also, the company announced that Marilyn Maultsby was named vice president of planning and administration, reporting to Mr. Jews.

Ms. Maultsby served as executive assistant to Carl J. Sardegna, the former Blues chief executive officer forced out in December after last fall's Senate investigation, according to Blue Cross Vice President Amy Levy. In that post, Ms. Levy said yesterday, Ms. Maultsby helped develop and communicate the company's position on public policy and legislative issues.

In her new job, Ms. Maultsby will oversee the development of the company's strategic plan.

Blue Cross is the state's largest health insurer, covering or administering benefits for 1.4 million people.

Ms. Benedict joined the company in 1986 after graduating from Harvard College and earning a master's degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut.

Before her duties were expanded and she was promoted last year, she headed one of the Blues' only profitable divisions -- individual insurance products, which account for about 20 percent of the Blues' business.

In October, she was asked to take over the company's Medicare administration division whose poor service record led the federal government to threaten to cancel its Maryland contract.

Six months ago, after the departure of another vice president, Ms. Benedict was given the group insurance business as well.

Ms. Benedict will receive the company's regular management severance package -- salary and health benefits for up to one year or until she accepts another job. She earned $185,000 annually.

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