The Health Section

Aetna President Karen S. Lynch one of the ‘Most Powerful Women’ in 2017

As one of the most senior women in the health insurance industry, Aetna President Karen S. Lynch is reimagining health care so that individuals can achieve their best health. Her professional accomplishments and leadership in driving Aetna’s business strategy led Fortune to name Lynch one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in 2017.

Lynch, who became Aetna’s first female president in 2015, oversees 22,500 employees in the company’s commercial, government and specialty businesses.

Working alongside Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark T. Bertolini, Lynch is helping the company achieve its vision of consumer-centered, locally-focused health care by expanding Aetna’s presence in key regions and geographies, and supporting community efforts to address underlying determinants of health.

“At Aetna, we’re working to address the full spectrum of physical, social, environmental and behavioral factors that drive someone’s health and ultimately impact their longevity and quality of life,” Lynch said.

Lynch is accustomed to navigating through uncertain times, quickly adapting, being flexible and turning challenges into opportunities. With nearly three decades of experience in the health care industry, she is equipped to create change at Aetna while delivering positive results. Under Lynch’s leadership, Aetna’s Medicare business has had double-digit membership growth over the last several years.

She has also strongly supported Aetna’s role in addressing the opioid epidemic, helping to lead the company’s development of a comprehensive strategy aimed to prevent misuse and abuse and support patients who are addicted with access to evidence-based treatments.

Lynch joined Aetna in 2012 as an executive vice president and head of specialty products, overseeing Aetna’s ancillary products, such as dental, vision, disability and life insurance, as part of medical offerings or standalone items. She also oversaw the integration of Aetna’s acquisition of Coventry Health Care.

Lynch was named to Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women in Business” list in 2016, and was also recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 2017 Top 25 Women in Healthcare, highlighting her role in transforming health care delivery across the country.

Fortune started the “Most Powerful Women” list in 1998 to recognize women who play a large role within the business industry. The list is published annually and fellow leaders this year include Sheryl Sandberg, Ginni Rometty and Helena Foulkes.