CareSource, Ohio’s largest Medicaid managed-care insurer, has boosted hiring plans announced earlier this year by more than 80 workers, in large part, to accommodate anticipated growth from new products.
For the first time this year, Dayton-based CareSource will begin selling health insurance to the general public through Ohio’s Internet-based health exchange created under the Affordable Care Act.
In addition, the company will begin providing Medicaid services outside Ohio through a partnership with commercial health insurer Humana. The Louisville, Ky.-based company also has a contract with the State of Ohio to serve “dual-eligible” low-income seniors that qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is the government-sponsored health care insurance program paid by tax dollars, typically for low-income people.
CareSource, which added 450 new employees to its workforce last year, said in January that it expected to add another 250 employees by the end of the year. The fast-growing nonprofit now projects total new employment of 334 this year, including 74 workers who have already been hired.
“The new products we’re offering are fueling our hiring,” said Dan McCabe, CareSource’s chief administrative officer. “We will be providing health care coverage on the Ohio health insurance marketplace and through the MyCare Ohio (dual-eligible) program, where we will have the opportunity to serve more consumers which will result in new jobs at CareSource.
“In addition, we continue to add positions to support our work in Kentucky and Florida, which are part of our Humana alliance,” McCabe said.
The positions being filled are a mix of clinical personnel, such as nurses and social workers, as well as call-center operators, information technology professionals, even insurance agents.
The new hires would grow CareSource’s total workforce — about half of which are headquartered in downtown Dayton — to a projected 1,787 from 1,527 by the end of this year.
Company officials were quick to point out, however, that the employment projections are estimates that could change based on business conditions.
In general, conditions in the health care industry have been ripe for growth.
Nationwide, monthly job growth in the health care industry through the first six months of the year averaged 55,000 new positions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s almost twice the average gain of 30,000 per month in 2012, the BLS noted.
Locally, health care accounted for about 13 percent of all workers employed in the Dayton metro area in the first quarter this year, according to a recent Brookings Institution’s “Metro Monitor” report.
By comparison, employment in the top 300 metro areas varied from just 7 percent of total employment in the Las Vegas metro area to 20 percent in the McAllen, Texas, metro area, Brookings found.
“Health care has become an essential industry in this area, and CareSource has done an excellent job diversifying their business model,” said Chris Kershner, vice president of public policy and economic development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “As they continue to have success, the region will continue to be successful.”
In addition to the Affordable Care Act, a graying population should continue to fuel the upward trend in health care employment, especially in Ohio.
According to a recent report from the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University, the number of Ohio residents 65 and older grew at a rate of nearly 8 percent over the past decade while overall population growth remained flat.