Keith Barnes (Courtesy: Cigna)

Insurance & Benefits

Cigna Names New Market President for North Texas and Oklahoma

He brings 30 years of healthcare experience, and will lead the commercial healthcare and benefit plans in the region.

Keith Barnes will be Cigna’s new market president for its commercial healthcare and related benefits plans in North Texas and Oklahoma. Barnes replaces Lamonte Thomas, who stepped down in July.

According to the Texas Department of Insurance, Cigna has under four percent of market share statewide, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Humana, and Aetna accounting for nearly half of Texas’s market share. The company took in $1.5 billion in premiums in 2018. Some insurers have been under pressure to refund some of their premium profits, as many have stayed away from healthcare facilities and elective procedures while still paying premiums during the pandemic. Thomas was not the only North Texas insurance executive to leave his position, as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas President Dr. Dan McCoy left the company in June. 

Barnes will be tasked with driving market growth and creating customer value while improving affordability, predictability, and simplicity for Cigna’s clients and customers. He will also collaborate with health systems and providers to improve care. 

“Keith Barnes is an accomplished and skilled leader who understands the complexities of the local market. He is committed to driving value for our customers and clients, and with his extensive broker and client relationships in North Texas and Oklahoma, he is exceptionally well-suited to drive sales and customer growth,” said Ralph Holmes, senior vice president for Cigna’s U.S. commercial business in the Southwest region via release.

Barnes has been in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years, with roles in the commercial and public sectors. He was most recently a senior divisional vice president at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)/Blue Cross Blue Shield, where he led leading profit and loss performance, client relations, and retention and growth strategies. He also had roles at Aetna, PacifiCare, and Prudential HealthCare. 

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