Former president of CareFirst to head Columbia-FreeState Wolf is named CEO of Blue Cross subsidiary


David D. Wolf, the former president of CareFirst Inc., has become the new chief executive officer of the Columbia-FreeState Health Plan, a subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland.

His appointment, which was effective June 27, comes as the state's largest health insurer is restructuring its health maintenance organizations. Columbia-FreeState and CareFirst have a total of 275,000 members.

CareFirst was acquired by Blue Cross in April after the state seized the HMO when an examination revealed a negative net worth at both of its two main subsidiaries. Despite the new ownership, Wolf continued as the head of CareFirst.

Columbia-FreeState is actually two separate Blue Cross HMO operations that were linked in 1986.FreeState, which contracts with independent practitioners and also employs some staff doctors, was formed by Blue Cross in 1981. The Columbia Medical Plan, which uses staff doctors and is headquartered in Columbia, was bought by Blue Cross in 1982 from Connecticut General Corp., part of CIGNA Corp. based in Philadelphia.

Columbia Medical Plan again becomes a free-standing operation, said Liz Ziemski, a Blue Cross spokeswoman. Dr. James Jordon will continue as its president, Ziemski said. Blue Cross intends to merge CareFirst into the FreeState portion of its HMO operations, under Wolf's leadership. It has not been determined when the merger will be completed, Ziemski said.

Wolf replaces David Taylor, who will continue to work at Blue Cross on other projects, according to Ziemski. Stephen Bailey, the senior vice president of group operations, took on the additional position of acting president of CareFirst.

The chairman and president of the entire Maryland Blue Cross operation is Carl J. Sardegna.

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