The CalOptima Board of Directors has appointed Michael Engelhard, the $1.4-billion health plan’s chief financial officer, as its temporary CEO after Richard Chambers leaves next month.

Engelhard has been with CalOptima for four years and previously was vice president and regional finance officer at Health Net.

Chambers, who has led CalOptima since 2004, announced his resignation last month. He will become president of Long Beach-based Molina Healthcare California, a physician-owned firm that manages Medi-Cal and Medicare coverage for 350,000 people in five counties.

He is the sixth top executive to resign in recent months from CalOptima, the county’s health plan for the poor and elderly. CalOptima provides health coverage programs to more than 400,000 low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.

CalOptima board Chairman Ed Kacic stated in a news release that Engelhard’s appointment “sends a positive message to our members, employees and stakeholders that CalOptima is in good hands and is focused on the work ahead.”


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