by Lee Hogan
Posted 4/1/2014 03:38 pm
Updated 7 months ago
The Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace has hired the former director of Utah's health insurance exchange as executive director to lead its effort to establish a state-run health insurance exchange.
Cheryl Smith, a consultant at Deloitte Consulting, will assume the duties of executive director May 19, AHIM said. Smith's $165,000 salary will be funded through a $3.6 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Smith was selected by AHIM's 11-member Board of Directors from a pool of four finalists, which was narrowed from 39 applicants.
Sherrill Wise, the AHIM board chair, says Smith will bring expertise and a wealth of knowledge to Arkansas.
"After an extensive search, we are fortunate to have found an outstanding candidate in Cheryl Smith," Wise said in a news release. "She has a well-rounded base of experience including strategy, policy, creation and implementation of health exchanges that we expect will prove valuable as we navigate through setting up a state-based health insurance exchange in Arkansas."
Smith is the first hire by the marketplace. The nonprofit organization was created, and compelled to explore the creation of the state's own health insurance marketplace, by Act 1500 of the 89th General Assembly.
All other hires will be overseen by Smith with input from board members, AHIM said.