RI Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO retires


The head of Rhode Island's biggest health insurance company is retiring. Jim Purcell, the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, will leave the company at the end of 2011.

Jim Purcell has been the health plan's CEO since 2005, when he replaced disgraced leader Ronald Battista, who was forced out in a money scandal.

Under Purcell's leadership, Blue Cross has strengthened its support of primary care physicians and advocated for the equal treatment of patients with mental health issues.

Purcell also oversaw the health insurance plan's decision to build a new 100 million dollar headquarters in Downtown Providence.

The price of the construction has been a common source of complaints from residents frustrated with rising health insurance premiums, but Blue Cross says the building will eventually save the company money.

Purcell, who is 65, will be replaced by Peter Andruszkiewicz, the current president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia.

Blue Cross Blue Shield's spokeswoman says Purcell will not receive a severance package.

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