Horizon Announces the Retirement of Chairman, President, and CEO Robert A. Marino

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) announced  that Robert A. Marino will retire from the company at the end of 2017 after spending more than 40 years working in the Blue Cross Blue Shield system. Marino has served as Horizon’s President and CEO since March 2011 and became Chairman of the Board in March 2012.

The Board of Directors has chosen Kevin P. Conlin to succeed Marino. Conlin joined Horizon BCBSNJ in 2012 as Executive Vice President, Healthcare Management, and was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2016, responsible for directing and managing all of Horizon’s business activities.  He will become the company’s Chairman, President and CEO effective January 1, 2018.

“For 85 years, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s mission has been to provide affordable, high quality health insurance to as many people as possible and it has been a privilege to lead the amazing team of dedicated, caring employees who make that mission their personal responsibility every day,” said Mr. Marino.  “When I began my career with Blue Shield of New Jersey 40 years ago, I never thought that I’d have the honor of guiding the company that has consistently led the charge to transform and improve health care in New Jersey.”

Under Bob Marino’s leadership, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey:

  • Grew to serve 3.8 million members, including 74,000 previously uninsured New Jerseyans who obtained coverage through the individual market, with annual revenue exceeding $12 billion in 2016.
  • Earned “Best Insurance Company” in the United States for overall customer satisfaction in 2016 and “Most Recommended Health Insurer In America” 2017 in Insure.com’s national surveys.
  • Earned the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s “Brand Excellence for Innovation Award” recognizing the positive and measurable impact of OMNIA Health Plans.
  • Strengthened its financial condition earning and maintaining an “A” credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, which recently praised management for “maintaining financial strength” and driving “various innovative payment models to make the New Jersey health-care system more effective, efficient, and affordable.”

In 2015, NJBIZ selected Bob Marino as New Jersey’s Executive of the Year citing his willingness to act boldly to challenge the status quo and “rethink how one of the biggest industries in the country operates.”  Since becoming CEO, Marino has also been at or near the top on the publication’s annual Power 50 in Healthcare list.

“Leaders who show courage and commitment to New Jersey are extraordinarily valued.  Bob Marino is unquestionably one such leader and we will miss him,” said Tom Bracken, President and CEO of the NJ State Chamber of Commerce. “Bob has continued in the tradition of exemplary leadership at one of New Jersey’s oldest and most reputable businesses.  He’s had the strength and vision to place the interests of Horizon’s members first and his work to lower healthcare costs and improve quality outcomes has had a profound impact on New Jersey’s businesses and employees.”

Conlin has been the driving force behind Horizon’s efforts to transform health care in New Jersey from a fee for service model to a fee for value model.  The company’s innovative patient-centered, value-based programs currently cover 1.5 million of its 3.8 million members, helping to improve quality of care, the patient experience and lower costs.

“By changing the way we deliver and pay for health care through innovative partnerships, Horizon put quality, cost and customer experience above all else.   Under Kevin’s leadership, Horizon will be well positioned to continue redefining healthcare in New Jersey through innovative models of care that put the health and wellness of our customers in sharp focus,” said Marino.  “Kevin understands better than anyone that collaborative, patient-centered models are essential to successfully fulfilling Horizon’s mission going forward.”

Prior to joining Horizon BCBSNJ, Conlin served in several leadership positions with health systems, hospitals and health insurance companies. He came to Horizon BCBSNJ from Coventry Healthcare where he served as Executive Vice President, responsible for the functions of medical management, national contracting and provider relations across the United States. He was also President and CEO of Via Christi Health, a large Kansas-based integrated health system of 8,000 employees.

Conlin is a Rutgers University graduate, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences. He holds a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Duke University.

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