Mardy Peal, the Department of Health and Human Services employee who helped develop a plan to lower Medicaid costs, is going to work for an insurance HMO.
Her resignation letter was made public Tuesday, but in it Peal only said she was leaving to pursue an opportunity that would allow her to spend more time with her children. On Wednesday, the agency and her new employer confirmed that Peal, 43, was taking a job as director of business development at WellCare, a health maintenance organization that focuses on government programs including Medicaid.
Peal’s hiring as a senior planner a year ago drew attention because her salary was $95,000. While she had a master’s degree and spent three years as a lecturer at East Carolina University, she hadn’t held a job in health care for more than 10 years. The salary was far more than the range for her job category, but her position was made exempt from personnel restrictions.
While at DHHS she worked on a plan that put responsibility for cost savings on health-provider networks. The House and Senate couldn’t agree on the plan, however, and the goal of overhauling Medicaid wasn’t resolved this session.
Peal’s new job was first reported by WRAL.
WellCare did not say how much Peal would be paid.