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Federal retiree health claims program leader named


WASHINGTON—Richard Popper, a former Maryland health insurance official, has been named to run a federal program created by the health insurance reform law that will provide claims reimbursement to employers that offer early retiree health insurance coverage.

Mr. Popper was the first and only executive director of the Maryland Health Insurance Plan, which started in 2003 and now provides state-subsidized coverage to about 18,000 Maryland residents unable to get coverage in the private market.

In his new role as deputy director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Insurance Programs, Mr. Popper will administer a soon-to-begin $5 billion federal program that will reimburse employers for 80% of health care claims between $15,000 and $90,000 incurred annually by retirees ages 55 through 64 and their dependents.