At the recent Annual Meeting for MedBen, Doug Freeman, who for over 36 years served as President and later Chairman of Medical Benefits Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MedBen), retired from the Board of Directors.

At the same meeting, Kurt Harden, previously MedBen’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), was elected Chairman of the Board and CEO.

Caroline Fraker, previously MedBen’s Senior Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer (CPO), was named President, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and CPO.

Freeman was named MedBen’s President in 1987, as the company was transitioning from a hospital service association to offering comprehensive major medical and, ultimately, third party administration services. 

A member of the MedBen Board since 1991, he was elected Chairman in 2012.

Board member Scott Cantley commented, “With Doug at the helm, MedBen has grown from a regional health insurer to an expansive benefits management company that serves clients across the country. He leaves MedBen in a position of strength both strategically and operationally. We can’t adequately express our gratitude for his leadership.”

Board members honored Freeman for his contributions to MedBen by dedicating the company’s board room as the Douglas J. Freeman Board Room. “This room was originally the lobby of the building. Doug walked through it on his first day and led many important discussions here,” Harden commented. “It is appropriate that it bears his name.”

Freeman congratulated Harden and Fraker and commended Board members for their decisions. “I’ve worked with Kurt and Caroline for 30-plus years, and their contributions to MedBen’s success cannot be overstated,” Freeman said. “As I step away, I’m confident that the future of the company is in the best possible hands.”

Harden joined MedBen in 1991 as Director of Public Affairs, and served as Senior Vice President and Executive Vice President before being named President in 2012.

“Stability is essential to our success,” Harden said following his election. “Most of our executive staff have been with us for 20 years or more, and as Chairman, I want clients to know MedBen will continue to provide the same high level of service they’ve come to expect from us.”

Harden emphasized that while the titles may have changed, clients should notice no discernable changes to daily operations. “As President, Caroline will take on an increased role in overall company management and work with me to develop service offerings and long-term strategies. And our respective responsibilities will evolve as we move forward,” he said.

A veteran of employee benefits for over 40 years, Fraker has assisted MedBen clients with regulatory compliance, contractual and risk management issues since 1992. She was named Senior Vice President in 2018.

“MedBen’s transition to a third party administrator required someone with extensive regulatory knowledge to guide our self-funded business, and Caroline exceeded all expectations,” Harden said. “Her promotion to President is more than deserved, it’s the natural culmination of everything she’s done for the company.”

Fraker thanked the Board of Directors for their decision. “This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I am honored to represent MedBen,” she said. “Best of all, I look forward to leading this team of exceptional people and helping our clients achieve their employee benefit goals.”

Fraker added that while her responsibilities have expanded, she’ll continue to play an active role in compliance matters. “Just as MedBen is invested in finding services that maximize benefit value while minimizing costs, we are committed to providing regulatory guidance and supporting clients with services essential to better plan performance,” she said. “Besides that, I still enjoy reading and interpreting regulations!”