Perdue said in November that North Carolina would run a health care exchange jointly with the federal government, but the hybrid system can be changed later. McCrory has been skeptical about the Medicaid enrollment expansion, which would be paid for mostly with federal funds.
The HHS news release said Steckel has experience with overhauling information technology services. The state Medicaid office is trying to bring a new billing system online this summer.
The department says Steckel begins Jan. 22 and will make $210,000. Watson made $160,000 when he began the job last June to succeed dismissed director Dr. Craigan Gray, whose salary was $270,000.