Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois President Joins SOILL Board


Karen Atwood, President of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), has joined the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors.

Karen Atwood

Karen Atwood

As President, Atwood oversees all of BCBSIL’s sales and marketing activities; its extensive health, wellness and medical management programs; its health care provider networks and relationships; and its government, public and community relations activities across Illinois.

In FY 2012, BCBSIL, the state’s largest insurer, had gross revenues of $29.2 billion with an underwriting gain of $752 million. It serves 7.5 million members through 8,800 employees located in key locations across the state, including the Chicago area, Rockford, Quincy, Danville, Springfield, Jacksonville and Marion, Illinois. Last year, its service centers processed 89 billion claims and the company was named #1 in customer service for the Illinois-Indiana region for the sixth year in a row by J.D. Power and Associates. Now in its 77th year, the member-owned non-publicly traded company was founded in Chicago in 1936.

Atwood joined BCBSIL in 1979. Prior to becoming BCBSIL president, she served as divisional senior vice president of the company’s National Division, which manages more than 350 major national, municipal and labor accounts, representing nearly four million members. Before that, she served as Health Care Service Corporation’s (HCSC) chief underwriter and held positions in financial operations, cost and budgets and financial reporting. HCSC operates BCBSIL.

Atwood received her master’s degree in Business Administration from DePaul University in 1982 and her bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1978. She is a Certified Public Accountant.

She is a member of the board of directors of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Federation, as well as a member of the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council. She also serves on the board of trustees for DePaul University.

She and her husband, Mike live in Chicago and have two grown children.

Atwood chaired the Special Olympics Illinois Inspire Greatness Gala 2013, and BCBSIL has been a longtime supporter of Special Olympics Illinois programs and of their mission.

Atwood joins a distinguished group of professionals on the Special Olympics Board, led by board chairman Jim Corrigan of Ausdal Financial Partners.

View a full listing of the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors.