Tag Archives: Richard L. Boals

Rich Boals, president and CEO of BCBSAZ.

CEO Series: Richard L. Boals, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Richard L. Boals
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

What qualities does and effective CEO need to have?
You have to be able to create a vision that your team can follow. You have to be very flexible. You have to be sincere and honest and you have to care about your customers.

What qualities do you have that make you an effective leader for BCBSAZ?
I am able to envision the future. I’m adaptable to change and comfortable with change and I sincerely care about our customers and team members.

How difficult has it been to manage through the changes coming as a result of the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act has been the biggest challenge we have ever had. The change has resulted in thousands of hours of our staff time and millions of dollars in expenditures, but we are passionate about doing the right thing. It’s the law and once it was passed, we said we would do our best to implement it.

What have you done to prepare for the ACA?
We’ve designed all new products to comply with the law. We’ve revamped our systems so they interface with the systems the government expects us to interface with. I’m happy to say we are a little ahead of schedule.

How will the ACA impact businesses and how they insure their employees?
The biggest question for businesses is whether they will continue to provide coverage to their employees. We’ve talked with many business owners who are struggling with this. Do they pay the fine, give their employees a stipend and let them go onto one of the healthcare insurance exchanges? With healthcare costs continuing to escalate, many are wondering if this is the time to step aside and let  employees take that responsibility directly.

How is being CEO of BCBSAZ different from being CEO of another company?
We’re a not-for-profit company. We pay federal income tax but we aren’t responsible to shareholders, so we’re not as inclined to worry about short-term profitability and that allows us to focus far more attention on delighting our customers.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry?
People are living longer, healthier lives because of new technology and innovation. How many people do we know now who have had knee replacements and would otherwise have been incapacitated or on disability? That’s not the expectation we have today. We want to live long, vibrant lives and healthcare is enabling us to do that. That said, costs have have gone up steadily since I started my career and one of our challenges is finding ways to moderate that and still deliver great value.

What advice would you give to someone entering the healthcare industry today?
If you believe in delighting your customers, if you believe in helping people when they need help the most, this is a great industry.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you like to be doing?
A career in the military would have been a great calling. I also have this vision of going to Washington and making a difference. I would like to see Washington more effective, more efficient, and maybe even improve its image a little.

Rich Boals, president and CEO of BCBSAZ.

CEO Series: Richard L. Boals

Richard L. Boals
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

What qualities does and effective CEO need to have?
You have to be able to create a vision that your team can follow. You have to be very flexible. You have to be sincere and honest and you have to care about your customers.

What qualities do you have that make you an effective leader for BCBSAZ?
I am able to envision the future. I’m adaptable to change and comfortable with change and I sincerely care about our customers and team members.

How difficult has it been to manage through the changes coming as a result of the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act has been the biggest challenge we have ever had. The change has resulted in thousands of hours of our staff time and millions of dollars in expenditures, but we are passionate about doing the right thing. It’s the law and once it was passed, we said we would do our best to implement it.

What have you done to prepare for the ACA?
We’ve designed all new products to comply with the law. We’ve revamped our systems so they interface with the systems the government expects us to interface with. I’m happy to say we are a little ahead of schedule.

How will the ACA impact businesses and how they insure their employees?
The biggest question for businesses is whether they will continue to provide coverage to their employees. We’ve talked with many business owners who are struggling with this. Do they pay the fine, give their employees a stipend and let them go onto one of the healthcare insurance exchanges? With healthcare costs continuing to escalate, many are wondering if this is the time to step aside and let  employees take that responsibility directly.

How is being CEO of BCBSAZ different from being CEO of another company?
We’re a not-for-profit company. We pay federal income tax but we aren’t responsible to shareholders, so we’re not as inclined to worry about short-term profitability and that allows us to focus far more attention on delighting our customers.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in your industry?
People are living longer, healthier lives because of new technology and innovation. How many people do we know now who have had knee replacements and would otherwise have been incapacitated or on disability? That’s not the expectation we have today. We want to live long, vibrant lives and healthcare is enabling us to do that. That said, costs have have gone up steadily since I started my career and one of our challenges is finding ways to moderate that and still deliver great value.

What advice would you give to someone entering the healthcare industry today?
If you believe in delighting your customers, if you believe in helping people when they need help the most, this is a great industry.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what would you like to be doing?
A career in the military would have been a great calling. I also have this vision of going to Washington and making a difference. I would like to see Washington more effective, more efficient, and maybe even improve its image a little.

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BCBSAZ, CPLC educate Arizonans about healthcare reform

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) and Chicanos Por la Causa, Inc. (CPLC) announced a joint effort  to help educate Arizonans about the healthcare reform law. Together the organizations aim to reach those who likely haven’t had insurance in the past and may not understand how the law will benefit them.

With a combined 117 years in the Valley, BCBSAZ and CPLC have a long history and shared commitment to the community. In the days ahead, the organizations are teaming up to:
· Make bilingual healthcare reform advisors available.
· Host healthcare reform education events.
· Conduct shared media opportunities with Hispanic outlets.
· Identify ongoing education opportunities.

“Working with CPLC, we’ll serve Arizonans in every corner of the state by providing resources and tools needed to make smart decisions in a time when healthcare is changing greatly,” said Richard L. Boals, president and CEO for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “The open enrollment period gives Arizonans a chance to research their options and learn more about the value health insurance plays in keeping our communities healthy.”

“As one of Arizona’s largest social services organization, we are always looking for new opportunities to expand our service and support those who are historically underserved. Healthcare is a fundamental need and helping individuals understand how the Affordable Care Act impacts their lives and the best way to get coverage is our goal,” said Edmundo Hidalgo, CPLC President and CEO. Working with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, we have the opportunity not only to educate the community, but assist individuals in getting health insurance through local, personalized service.”

Healthcare reform open enrollment begins October 1 and runs through March 31, 2014. Within Arizona it is estimated that 480,000 people will be eligible for financial assistance. If a person is eligible for a subsidy, they must purchase their health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the exchange. Health insurance plans can also be purchased directly through a broker or BCBSAZ.

More healthcare reform information can be found in English at azblue.com or in Spanish at salud.azblue.com. BCBSAZ representatives can be reached at (877) 874-9958.