HELENA – A third-generation Montanan with nearly four decades of experience will now lead Montana’s largest health insurer. Collette Hanson on Thursday was named president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT).
Hanson is a true Blue Cross success story. She has worked at BCBSMT for 35 years in a variety of roles. She began her career as an entry level claims examiner and, over the course of 35 years, has worked her way up through the organization to serve in several critical leadership roles, including overseeing operations and most recently as the divisional vice president of sales and account management.
“I am humbled by this opportunity to continue serving our members and our employees in this next chapter,” Hanson said. “Over the course of 35 years, the one constant has always been change. I have been fortunate to be a part of many successful teams at BCBSMT. What has always stood out is our commitment to our members, providers, communities and employees.”
BCBSMT is Montana’s largest and longest-standing customer-owned insurer with nearly 300,000 members. BCBSMT has provided health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for 80 years and is a division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). The insurer, headquartered in Helena, employs nearly 600 Montanans, operates a call center based in Great Falls and has five regional offices in Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Great Falls and Kalispell.
“Collette is one of the most experienced and well-respected people in the industry in Montana,” said Jeff Tikkanen, senior vice president of HCSC Markets. “Collette’s decades of experience and deep familiarity with the Montana market will be instrumental in leading BCBSMT to meet and exceed the needs of our current and future members.”
As plan president, Hanson is responsible for developing and executing strategies to accelerate local market growth and achieve membership and financial targets for BCBSMT. Hanson will oversee all plan operations, including sales and account management, government and public relations, provider network management, and medical management.
Hanson replaces Dr. Monica Berner, who after serving two years as BCBSMT president was late last year promoted to chief clinical officer for HCSC’s five states: Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Born and raised in the Helena area, Hanson is a native Montanan and one of 13 siblings, including a twin sister. She and her husband, Harry, have two children: Alex, 20, and Regan, 16. She enjoys tennis and spending time at her family cabin. Hanson has served on the board of directors for Florence Crittenton Home in Helena for six years and is the immediate past president of the board. She also is on the board of the Great Falls Development Authority.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana (BCBSMT) is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSMT is the largest and longest-standing statewide, customer-owned health insurer and full-service health benefits administrator in Montana. BCBSMT has provided high-quality health insurance plans and administrative services to Montanans for 80 years. BCBSMT’s purpose is to stand with its members in sickness and in health.