Lisa Erickson has been named chief executive at Medica, a Minnetonka-based health insurer that has reported significant growth in recent years.

Erickson takes over for previous CEO John Naylor, who stepped down on Sept. 1.

She joined the nonprofit health insurer earlier this year, having previously held leadership positions at Optum, which is the health services business at Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group. Erickson also held executive positions with Best Buy and General Mills.

John Buck, the longtime board chair at Medica, said in a statement: "She brings strong leadership to our team and a deep understanding of our complex industry to ensure that members are not only covered but cared for."

Medica has seen significant growth over the past decade through expanded offerings in the individual market, where consumers tap subsidies under the federal Affordable Care Act and buy through government-run health exchanges, like Minnesota's MNsure program.

The health insurer's service area has grown from six states in 2016 to a dozen states this year.

In August 2021, Medica agreed to pay nearly $233 million for a controlling stake in Wisconsin-based Dean Health Plan, a deal that provided a significant boost to the company's revenue in 2022.

Starting this year, Medica also is expecting growth under new contracts for Minnesota's Medicaid program, which provides coverage for lower-income residents through private health plans.

Medica dates back to the mid 1970s, when doctors in the Twin Cities created an HMO called Physicians Health Plan. This insurer merged with another health plan in 1991 to create Medica, which now employs about 3,000 people.

Last year, Medica posted operating income of $54.6 million on about $6 billion of revenue. The earnings were off from 2021, when Medica saw operating income of $126.9 million on revenue of $4.5 billion.