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State budget director John Roberts to join Blue Cross

Chad Livengood

Lansing — State Budget Director John Roberts is leaving Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration in February for a new job at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to help the health insurance giant grow its Medicare business beyond the state’s borders.

Roberts announced his departure last week, but did not disclose the private sector job he was taking.

Andy Hetzel, vice president of communications at Blue Cross, confirmed Wednesday that Roberts will join the insurer’s Emerging Markets Division as vice president of administration to focus on growing the company’s Medicare Advantage plans through insurers in other states.

“We’re still developing the Medicare side of the business right now, but there’s huge growth potential there and we’re very excited about it,” Hetzel said.

Roberts, who has run the State Budget Office since 2014, will be in charge information technology, project management, procurement and special projects, according to Blue Cross.

“John’s portfolio is going to be fairly broad,” Hetzel said. “John brings valuable management experience from his previous positions and we are thrilled to welcome him to his new role.”

Roberts declined a request Wednesday for an interview about his new job, a spokesman said. He is remaining Snyder’s budget director until early February, when the governor pitches his annual budget proposal to the Legislature.

December and January are among the busiest months of the year for the State Budget Office as it works with state departments to craft a spending proposal for the next fiscal year and adjusts to revenue

The emerging markets division of Blue Cross includes its wholly-owned subsidiary, Accident Fund, a national workers compensation insurer based in downtown Lansing.

Roberts will report to Liz Haar, executive vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield and head of the emerging markets division, according to the company.

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood