Connecticut StateDepartment of Administrative Services

Staff Attorney 2

Recruitment #220909-0088AR-002

Introduction

The State of ConnecticutOffice of the State Comptroller (OSC), is an agency whose mission is to provide accounting and financial services; administer employee and retiree benefits; develop accounting policy and exercise accounting oversight; prepare financial reports for the state, federal and municipal governments and the public.

We are seeking a Staff Attorney 2 to report directly to the Division Director of the Healthcare Policy and Benefits Services Division.  On a day-to-day basis, the individual filling this position will be responsible for the providing legal advice and fiduciary oversight for Healthcare Policy and Benefit Services Division which administers benefits for 250,000+ members.  Duties include ensuring compliance with state and federal laws (Internal Revenue Code, COBRA, HIPAA and Affordable Care Act, etc.),  identifying processes/practices that need to be revised due to accommodate regulatory changes, procuring and contracting with vendors required to administer employee benefits administered by the agency, participating in planning and oversight of new projects and policy changes associated with the health plans and other employee benefits, preparing all-agency memoranda to communicate policies or program changes, and the administration and oversight of retiree health fund contributions and state employee unemployment.

This is a full-time, first-shift, 40 hour per week position in the State Office Building at 165 Capitol Avenue in Hartford, CT. This state-of-the-art building offers free garage parking, ergonomic workspaces, and telework opportunities. The OSC offers an excellent salary and benefits package

Selection Plan

Candidates must meet the minimum qualifications as indicated to apply for this position.  State employees currently holding the above title or those who have previously attained permanent status in the class may apply for a lateral transfer.  Candidates who have been selected for employment with the Office of the State Comptroller are subject to a detailed background investigation, including a fingerprint supported state and federal criminal history record check along with reference checks. Selection for employment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of the background investigation.

In order to comply with Public Act 21-69, the State of Connecticut is no longer asking for resumes during the initial application process.  Please ensure that your application is complete prior to submitting.  NOTE:  At any point during the recruitment process, applicants may be required to submit additional documentation which support their qualification(s) for this position. These documents may include: a cover letter, resume, performance reviews, supervisory references, attendance records, etc., at the discretion of the hiring agency. Questions about these required documents should be directed to the hiring agency's human resources office:  bonnie.schlechtweg@ct.gov.

This posting may require completion of additional referral questions (RQ’s) which will be sent to you via email after the closing date. Please regularly check your email for notifications, including your SPAM/JUNK folders. You must reply by the deadline indicated on the notification or you will be automatically disqualified from consideration.

Interviews will be limited to candidates whose experience and training most closely meet the requirements and preferred qualifications of the position.

All application materials must be received by the recruiting agency by the time specified on the job opening for the position for which you are applying. Late applications may not be submitted and will not be considered. Exceptions are rare and limited to documented events that incapacitate a candidate during the entire duration of the job posting time period.  It is the candidate’s obligation and responsibility to request an exception and provide a legally recognized justification to accommodate such exception.  Requests should be made to bonnie.schlechtweg@ct.gov.

PURPOSE OF JOB CLASS (NATURE OF WORK)

In a state agency this class is accountable for independently performing a full range of tasks in the legal work of the agency.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES

  • Provide legal advice and fiduciary oversight for Healthcare Policy and Benefit Services Division which administers benefits for 250,000+ members.  Ensure compliance with state and federal laws (Internal Revenue Code, COBRA, HIPAA and Affordable Care Act, etc.).  Provide legal guidance related to the interpretation of collective bargaining and state statute benefit eligibility stipulations.
  • Identify processes/practices that need to be revised due to accommodate regulatory changes. Recommend and analyze proposed legislation. Investigate potential fraud or misuse of plan benefits.  Prepare all-agency memoranda to communicate policies or program changes. 
  • Participate in competitive procurements (RFP) for medical, dental, pharmacy and related services, supplemental benefits program, defined contribution plans, value-based healthcare administration, and flexible spending account programs as needed. Draft requirements and prepare contracts for all selected vendors.  
  • Maintain plan documents for medical and pharmacy benefits offered by State and CT Partnership Program.  Review eligibility of applicants to join Partnership Plan, prepare contracts for all non-state public employers joining plan.
  • Stay current on legal and regulatory requirements for administration of employee health and retirement plans.  Create and maintain plan documents on all IRS-regulated Section 125 plans, work with external vendors and agency staff to resolve benefit delivery or administrative issues; work with labor/management representatives on implementation of collective bargaining agreements and health plan initiatives. 
  • Maintain operational compliance with state and federal laws/regulations and collective bargaining agreements affecting our health, retirement plans (including HIPAA, ACA, IRC, COBRA, SEBAC).   Ensure that carriers are operating in accordance with such laws, regulations and collective bargaining agreements. 
  • Respond to Freedom of Information Act requests and subpoenas.  Interpret legal decisions, statutes and collective bargaining agreements; assist staff with employee benefits law compliance; negotiate vendor contracts, disclosure agreements, and prepare RFPs.
  • Implement changes in law and benefit administration as required, such as CARES Act and other legislation introduced in response to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Participate in Agency response to legislative request to address feasibility of modifying eligibility rules for providing state health benefits to adjunct faculty members.
  • Engage in negotiations for renewal/extension of contracts for medical/pharmacy benefits.  Review audit results and participate in post-audit negotiations with vendors.
  • Oversee program for collection and refund of Retiree Health Fund contributions.  Update policies, audit of agency compliance with requirements for enrollments, exemptions and processing of refunds.   
  • Collaborate with CORE-CT, Retirement and Payroll Divisions to design and implement process revisions.  Assist with compilation of data for State’s GASB reporting.
  • Supervise supplemental benefits program (12 vendors), update contracts and resolve problems; issue RFPs for new vendors, coordinate activities of the Vendor Advisor Committee for evaluation for new potential products and vendors.
  • Administer flexible spending programs (Medical Flexible Spending, Dependent Care Assistance Program and Qualified Transportation Account and implement service of new vendor. 
  • Oversee contract for statewide administration of unemployment claims processing.  Work with CORE-CT and CT Department of Labor to develop information processing mechanism to reduce suspected fraud in connection unemployment claims fraud. 
  • Assist Attorney General’s Office in compiling data to support False Claims Act in connection with operation of State’s medical and dental plans.
  • Carry out special investigations and projects related to evolution of Health Enhancement Program (HEP) chronic disease management, member preventive compliance and utilization of claims information housed with data warehousing vendor, to support episodes of care program.   
  • Working on division effort to streamline health plans to reduce costs and introduce new quality-based performance metrics into health plan.
  • Responding to legislative inquiries and constituent inquiries related to duties listed above.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND ABILITY

Considerable knowledge of legal principles, practices and procedures in Connecticut; considerable knowledge of legal research techniques; considerable knowledge of the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act; considerable knowledge of and the ability to interpret and apply relevant state and federal laws, statutes, regulations and legislation; considerable knowledge of relevant agency policies and procedures; knowledge of the rules of evidence; knowledge of criminal and constitutional law and legislative process; considerable interpersonal skills; considerable oral and written communication skills; considerable ability to apply judicial decisions to the interpretation of statutes; considerable ability to comprehend, analyze and organize technical data and coordinate elements of legal cases.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS - GENERAL EXPERIENCE

STAFF ATTORNEY 2: Two (2) years of experience in the practice of law.
STAFF ATTORNEY 3: Three (3) years of experience in the practice of law at the level of Staff Attorney 2 in the same state agency.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Law degree
  • Understanding of laws and regulations overseeing employee health benefits plans.
  • Experience in writing, managing and negotiating contracts 
  • Experience in health policy or healthcare administration
  • Experience in engaging health care providers in contracting negotiations or other partnerships.
  • Experience and knowledge of the legislative and collective bargaining process, including the interpretation and application of the relevant state and federal laws, collective bargaining agreements, and legal/court decisions relative state employee health benefits
  • Must demonstrate attention to detail and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in order to complete rapid turn-around of communication and policy materials and successfully meet deadlines;
  • Demonstrated experience in written communications in a professional setting, moving from concept to implementation with little editorial oversight;
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals and constituencies; 
  • Problem solving and analytical abilities including the ability to critically evaluate information gathered from multiple sources, reconcile conflicts, decompose high-level information into details and synthesize large amounts of information into effective policy articulations;
  • Experience conducting policy-oriented research and presenting findings in presentations or written materials;
  • Ability to work with a team as well as independently, and to be proactive in seeking solutions to challenges;
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced atmosphere with changing priorities;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong oral communication skills.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

1. Must be admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut.
2. May be required to travel.

Conclusion

INCOMPLETE APPLICATION PACKAGES AND THOSE RECEIVED AFTER THE CLOSING DATE INDICATED ABOVE WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.  An Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer.  The State of Connecticut is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities.  If you are requesting special accommodations under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) please contact Bonnie Schlechtweg at 860.702.3323 or bonnie.schlechtweg@ct.gov.






The State of Connecticut is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages the application of women, minorities and persons with disabilities.