News : Contact Center Contract Expires June 30, Jobs at Risk
Sacramento, CA, USA, June 22, 2015 -- As many as 1,000 employees of a call center in south Sacramento face an uncertain future when their employer's contract with Covered California expires next week.
The agency that runs the state health-insurance exchange signed a contract last fall to help with heavy call volume during open enrollment at the state health benefit exchange. In-Sync Consulting Services in Roseville joined with Virginia-based call-center operator Faneuil on the deal to provide temporary staff to answer questions and enroll customers from a new call center on Greenhaven Drive.
Open enrollment ended Feb. 15, but consumers who didn’t know the tax consequences of not having insurance were given extra time to sign up. That special enrollment period ended April 30. Consumers whose personal circumstances change — they lose a job, get divorced or something else happens to make them lose insurance — can sign up at any time.
The call-center contract expires June 30, and the agency — under pressure to cut costs— has not renewed it. Tim Coxen, InSync’s Roseville manager, made an unusual direct appeal to Covered California directors during the public comment portion of the board's meeting Thursday.
The south Sacramento call center still handles about 1,700 Covered California calls a day, and the contractor had hoped to see the deal extended, Coxen said. "Over the last six to eight months, we’ve hired more than 1,000 people," Coxen said. "What’s going to happen?"
Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, said the exchange will soon seek new bids for phone help during next open enrollment season, but in general the agency is cutting back on "surge" staffing.
"We could not have done this without our surge contractors," he said. "But we need to cut costs."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Covered California:
PROGRAM ANALYST FOR STATE AGENCY OFFERING AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE IN 2014.
About Insync Consulting Services LLC:
InSync Consulting Services is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business that is a national provider of IT staffing and consulting services.
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