Countywide Benefits Manager

CEBS Requirement: Preferred

Columbia, MD

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Howard County Government is a leader in innovation, sustainability, and consistently ranked as one of the best places to live and work in the country. In 2023, Howard County Government received a record-breaking 51 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) – the most in the state of Maryland. NACo is the leading organization representing county-level government operations. These awards recognize innovative and transformative programs that provide new services for county residents, improve existing programs, upgrade working conditions, and enhance citizen participation and public policymaking.

What are we looking for?
Howard County Government is seeking an experienced and energetic Benefits Manager (Assistant Administrator) to administer and carry out the County’s employee benefits program which covers approximately 5,000 employees and retirees.

This is a highly responsible position that manages elements including health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance program, 457 deferred compensation, and other employee benefit programs. The County’s program includes self-insured and fully insured plans.

Applicants are highly encouraged to attach to their application, a work sample of open enrollment communication materials they have developed and any reports that reflect analysis of benefit programs.

Salary: $89,102 - $130,000 based upon experience.

Performs advanced administrative work, which may include supervisory responsibilities, under supervision from an administrative superior. As directed, assists in the overall management of the human resources program and directly supervises one or more major functional activities such as benefits and records administration, classification and pay, or recruitment and selection.

Include the following. Other related duties may be assigned.

  • Oversee the administration of employee benefits program to include areas such as medical, prescription, dental, life, short- and long-term disability, EAP, 457 (b) plan, etc.
  • Manages the Benefits Division and staff by coaching, counseling, and mentoring employees.
  • Works in collaboration with Human Resources Administrator to provide well informed recommendations on the benefits program. Analyzes and develops benefit strategies to ensure high quality and cost-effective programs.
  • Ensures compliance with federal/state benefit regulations (such as the ACA, FMLA, COBRA, etc), and County policies.
  • Proactively communicates benefits programs to ensure clear understanding of program options, eligibility, and policies.
  • Resolves employee questions and problems by interpreting benefit policies and procedures.
  • Works closely with benefit consultants on annual benefit plan renewals, and plan design changes/recommendation, studies/trend analysis, projections, and RFPs as appropriate.
  • Designs, coordinates, and implements the annual open enrollment program.


  • Bachelor's Degree and five (5) years related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications are highly desired.
  • At least 8 years of experience administering benefits program to include health insurance plans and other group insurance plans (self-insured and fully insured), life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance program, 457 deferred compensation, and other employee benefit programs.

The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to sit.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; and use hands to finger, handle, or feel.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, and ability to adjust focus.
  • Employees are required to travel to different work sites independently.
  • The employee will occasionally lift up to 50 pounds as needed and may push, pull, or lift tables, boxes, etc. to set up booths, tables, etc. at benefits related venues.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.


  • Skills in applying principles, methods, techniques, and practices of various areas to administer benefits program to include health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance program, 457 deferred compensation, and other employee benefit programs.
  • Experience developing, managing and administering Health and Benefits programs for a large or governmental organization.
  • Demonstrated experience administering medical plans in fully insured and self-insured settings, including understanding of premium rates, stop loss programs, etc.
  • Experience reviewing and managing return to work programs.
  • Demonstrated experience developing employee wellness programs to promote employee health and reduce health insurance costs.
  • Ability to provide oversight of performance standards in vendor contract to ensure accountability, accurate reporting of data, and strong client services.
  • Experience with automated benefit enrollment platforms, HRIS systems, or other benefit applications.
  • Self-starter with a strong work ethic.
  • Strong communication, interpersonal, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and presentation skills.
  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers/leadership, clients, customers, and the general public.
  • Ability to perform calculations, trend analysis, and work with budgets.
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions.

Howard County Government

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