Maryland health exchange names new executive

Michele S. Eberle was named the new executive director of the quasi-public state agency that administers the Maryland health exchange nearly three weeks into the annual open enrollment period for the insurance known as Obamacare.

Eberle had been working as the chief operating officer for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange since 2015 and was chosen by the board of directors on Monday.

The exchange serves as the online health insurance marketplace for people who do not get health insurance through their jobs.

Officials report a brisk opening to the enrollment period, signing up more people in the beginning days in private insurance and Medicaid than in previous years despite attempts by Republicans in Congress and the administration of Donald Trump to scale back the program. Premiums for the private insurance also have risen sharply in the last few years, most affecting the minority of consumers who do not receive subsidies.

Eberle succeeds Dr. Howard M. Haft, deputy secretary for public health services, who has served as interim executive director since May.

Eberle had served from 2013 to 2015 as executive director of the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, the state’s high-risk pool for those rejected for insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions. She also has worked in other management roles in health care, insurance and technology companies and nonprofit entities.

She earned a master’s degree in business administration at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., and a bachelor’s degree in management science and computer science at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.

meredith.cohn@baltsun.com

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