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Klein to retire as CEO of Lifetime Directed growth of Univera parent

David H. Klein, the longtime CEO of Univera Healthcare's Rochester-based parent company said Tuesday that he will retire at the end of 2012, after 40 years in the health insurance industry.

Klein, who has led Rochester-based Lifetime Healthcare Companies for the past nine years, will step down after helping to grow the parent of Excellus Health Plan and Univera into the largest nonprofit health insurer and one of the largest private employers in upstate New York.

"I'm proud to have helped build, and then to have had the privilege to lead, the largest and most successful nonprofit health plan in upstate New York," Klein said.

The company's board will announce a successor in April.

Lifetime is a $5.6 billion company that provides health insurance to more than 1.8 million people, sells long-term care coverage in 50 states and serves patients directly through Lifetime Health Medical Group and Lifetime Home Care and Hospice. It employs 6,600 in 50 locations.

Klein joined the BlueCross BlueShield Association in 1972 and worked as a senior sales and marketing executive for BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois before coming to BlueCross BlueShield of the Rochester Area as a senior executive in 1986. The Rochester Blues merged with other upstate plans in 1998 to form Excellus and added Univera in 2001. Klein was named CEO in 2003.

During his time at the company, it grew from one health plan with less than $400 million in revenues, 700,000 members and 1,000 employees to its current size. "David was instrumental in leading this corporation for more than 25 years," said Chairman Randall Clark.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com