Some new Optima Health hires have Medicaid to thank.
The Virginia-based company announced that it is adding 197 new employees to its staff as a direct response to Medicaid expansion. That news is particularly good for Norfolk’s Military Circle Mall.
“We are expanding and doubling the size of our current space,” Megan Philpotts Padden, Optima vice president of government programs, wrote in an email to the Pilot.
Most of the new hires will be working at the existing Optima customer service center inside the former J.C. Penney store in the mall – a move that will double the space the company is using in the mall.
More than 200 employees already work at the 45,000-square-foot center. The company is adding another 45,000 square feet within the former J.C. Penney store.
Optima, which announced the new jobs on Wednesday, has already began its recruiting and hiring process. Philpotts Padden said the company is about 80 percent through the hiring process.
Most of the positions are full time and include both entry-level and clinical staff positions for nurses, customer service staff, social workers, claims processors and network educators. Training and benefits are provided and salaries range, based on positions, Philpotts Padden said.
Open enrollment for the Medicaid expansion began on Nov. 1. Over the next few months, around 400,000 eligible state residents are projected to enroll, according to the company.
Virginia is the 33rd state to expand Medicaid. Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation for the expansion in June.