Sarah Iselin is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Blue Shield of California, a nonprofit health plan with $21 billion in annual revenue serving 4.6 million members in the state's commercial, individual, and government markets. She is accountable for all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the health plan, driving sustainable membership growth, and implementing strategies to deliver transformational results that improve the health of Blue Shield’s members, physicians and the communities it serves. She also leads the company’s government affairs function, focused on advocating for state and federal legislative policies and regulations that affect Blue Shield members and the health care industry.
Iselin brings nearly 30 years of experience in healthcare strategy, policy, finance and philanthropy, and is driven to create a healthcare system that’s more empathetic, equitable, accessible and affordable for all. Prior to joining Blue Shield of California, Iselin served as executive vice president of government programs and diversified business, and senior vice president and chief strategy officer with GuideWell and Florida Blue, where she strategically repositioned Florida Blue for growth in Medicare, achieved 5 and 4.5 star ratings for the company’s Medicare HMO plan and led significant growth in their Medicare Advantage business.
She also served as president of Optum Federal, preceded by 13 years with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. There, she served the health plan and their foundation in progressively responsible roles, including senior vice president of strategy, policy and community partnerships and chief strategy officer and president of the foundation. In 2014, Iselin took a four-month leave of absence from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to lead the highly visible and successful turn-around of Massachusetts’ implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health insurance exchange website as special assistant to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
In a prior stint with state government, Iselin served as commissioner of the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, the agency responsible for managing and monitoring critical implementation phases of the state’s landmark 2006 health care reform law, which paved the way for the ACA. Iselin also co-chaired the Special Commission on the Health Care Payment System, which recommended a major overhaul of physician and hospital reimbursement.
Iselin earned her Master of Science in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Bachelor of Fine Art from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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