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State hiring 70 to manage new health exchange as it preps for Obamacare

The state is hiring 70 staffers to work on the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, a marketplace that lets consumers choose health insurers and is a key provision of new federal health rules known as Obamacare. 

The exchange is an independent state agency located in downtown Baltimore and requires a variety of functions, from IT to marketing and management.
 
In addition, the state is hiring companies that will create and/or manage parts of the exchange. When their contracts are finalized, the companies will do their own hiring for a so-far undetermined number of jobs.
 
“A lot of our resources will be through vendors,” says Leslie Lyles Smith, the exchange’s director of operations, of the companies to which the exchange will subcontract various responsibilities.
 
Smith says that most of the future employees, both those hired by the exchange and by vendor/subcontractors, will be in operations and IT. She divided the job areas into the following categories:
  • IT;
  • marketing and communications outreach;
  • planning and partner management, specifically liaison with brokers, third-party administrators and insurance companies;
  • operations and consumer assistance, specifically the call center and navigator program;
  • internal operations;
  • budget and finance;
  • human resources;
  • general services;
  • policy and government relations; and,
  • appeals/grievances.
     
The Maryland General Assembly created the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange in 2011, following the 2010 passage of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Maryland is one of the first six states in the country to create an exchange, a key provision in the federal law to set up a marketplace for the public and health insurers. In turn, the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange opened the Maryland Health Connection as the online portal for the public and small businesses to get health insurance and tax credit information and to enroll.
 
The state began hiring to staff the exchange  last year and is continuing to hire. Smith expects to have most, if not all, the positions filled by the exchange’s opening day. All jobs are posted on the exchange’s website under the “careers” heading. Two recent job listings, for deputy director budget and management and for manager of the call center listed salaries of about $61,000 to $98,000 and of about $50,000 to $81,000 respectively.
 
Vendor hiring is also ongoing and requests for proposals can be found on the exchange’s website under the “procurement” heading. Once a vendor is selected, job-seekers will go directly to the company for information about employment. The number and type of jobs each vendor requires varies.
 
Source: Leslie Lyles Smith, Maryland Health Benefit Exchange
Writer: Barbara Pash
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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