News Release

Date Posted

California Health Benefit Exchange Announces Senior Leadership Appointment

Oscar Hidalgo, Director of Communication and Public Relations

SACRAMENTO – Executive Director Peter V. Lee announced today the appointment by the California Health Benefit Exchange Board of Oscar Hidalgo as Director of Communications and Public Relations.

"Oscar comes to the Exchange with extensive experience and knowledge in all aspects of public relations,” said Lee. “In his previous position, Oscar established an award-wining communications office for the largest agency in California and the largest prison and parole system in the nation. His ability to explain complex subjects under extreme pressure will be invaluable in our efforts to reach millions of Californians.”

As the Director of Communications and Public Relations, Hidalgo will be responsible for the Exchange’s media relations, public relations, and all other external communications. The position requires a strategic thinker, team-builder, innovator and collaborator, all qualities that have been a cornerstone of Hidalgo’s work history.

“The Exchange has established significant milestones to be met once the marketplace is operational,” said Hidalgo. “I am committed to implementing the communications and public relations plan approved by the board in the most thoughtful and strategic way so that the promise of the Exchange can be fully realized.”

Hidalgo was most recently the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public and Employee Communications for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In that position, he implemented and managed all internal and external communications for the agency. Throughout his career, Hidalgo has received numerous awards for his work, including Employee of the Year for numerous agencies. The salary of this position is $160,000.

About the Exchange

California was the first state to create a Health Benefit Exchange following the passage of federal health care reform. It is charged with creating a new insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health plans using federal tax subsidies and credits beginning in 2014.
The Exchange is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and Legislature; the California Health and Human Services Secretary serves as an ex officio voting member and is its current Chair.

For more information on the Exchange including meeting calendar, visit