Job seekers look to fill 1,800 call center positions

Idaho StatesmanJuly 20, 2013 

Kari Riedlinger uses a computer to take an assessment evaluation for Maximus during a job fair last year. Maximus sent a letter to employees this week advising them of coming layoffs.

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com

Job fairs were held Saturday in Boise, Meridian and Nampa to help a Virginia company fill 1,800 jobs in a new Boise call center.

Maximus, based in Reston, Va., plans to open the center in an unused building on the Hewlett-Packard campus on Chinden Boulevard.

The center will take calls from people using health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, being created for individuals and small employers to buy health plans under President Obama's health-reform law. They're expected to start operating this fall. The law's universal insurance coverage requirement starts in January.

Idaho's customer-service agents will be among 7,000 to 9,000 working at 17 locations in the U.S., the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told the Statesman. Employees will help people fill out applications and choose plans.

Maximus has won more than $100 million of contracts to handle state health insurance exchanges, including those of Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Idaho hasn't yet decided who will provide consumer support for its state-run exchange. Instead, the exchange's officials want to use existing resources and may hire temporary customer-service workers until a longer-term contract is signed.

Maximus is holding four more job fairs next week at offices of the Idaho Department of Labor.

Three will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday -- one each in Boise, Meridian and Caldwell. The addresses are 219 W. Main St. in Boise, 1090 E. Watertown Lane in Meridian, and 4514 Thomas Jefferson St. in Caldwell.

The last job fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 501 N. 16th St. in Payette.

Audrey Dutton: 377-6448

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