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O’Malley names new heads at Maryland Insurance Administration, SDAT

Gov. Martin O’Malley appointed a new insurance commissioner, top property tax assessor and a new health care board Thursday.

Therese Goldsmith, a member of the Public Service Commission and formerly a white-collar litigation attorney with Hogan & Hartson, will take the insurance post July 1.

“We are confident that her extensive expertise and commitment to public service will protect the progress we’re making for consumers and effectively regulate Maryland’s insurance industry,” O’Malley said in a written statement announcing Goldsmith’s appointment.

The Maryland Insurance Administration licenses insurance providers, regulates rates, investigates consumer complaints and polices the industry.

Goldsmith replaces Beth Sammis, the interim commissioner.

O’Malley also appointed Robert E. Young director of the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation following the retirement of C. John Sullivan Jr.

Young has been a manager at SDAT for more than 30 years, and will take the top job July 1. The department appraises real and personal property for local and state taxes.

The nine-member health benefit exchange board will oversee the state’s implementation of an online, public marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to compare rates and plans, and purchase insurance coverage.

The members of the board appointed Thursday are Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association; Lisa Dubay, senior fellow at the Urban Institute; Darrell Gaskin, a health economist and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Jennifer Goldberg, assistant director of advocacy for health care at the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau; Enrique Martinez-Vidal, vice president of AcademyHealth and director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s State Coverage Initiatives program; and Tom Saquella, former president of the Maryland Retailers Association.

The other three board members are the secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Joshua M. Sharfstein; Maryland Health Care Commission Acting Executive Director Ben Steffen, and Goldsmith, as insurance commissioner.

“I am confident that these individuals will help protect the health care priorities of our families and children,” O’Malley said.