Anthem Blue Cross of California names Pam Kehaly president

Health insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross of California announced the hiring of a former Aetna executive as its new president and general manager.

Pam Kehaly, who has worked in the health insurance industry for more than 25 years, was named Monday to replace former President Leslie Margolin, who resigned a week ago.

Kehaly will take the helm Aug. 30. Anthem, a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., is California’s largest for-profit health insurance company.

Anthem, based in Woodland Hills, was hit with intense public scrutiny this year over a planned rate increase of up to 39% for many of its nearly 800,000 individual policyholders in California. The rates became a national symbol of anti-insurance company outrage and Anthem canceled the hikes in April after miscalculations were uncovered in its filing.

Kehaly will oversee sales, account service, marketing, underwriting and product delivery and maintain customer relationships. She will also direct development of Anthem Blue Cross’ long-term strategic direction, the company said.

Kehaly recently served as Aetna’s president of national accounts.