August 23, 2012: The California Health Benefit Exchange has received a $196 million federal grant to fund operations through June.
The exchange is on an aggressive timeline to launch a new insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses in January 2014. Enrollment is expected to begin in October 2013.
Key over the next year will be development of an easy-to-use program for eligibility and enrollment — and outreach efforts to get individuals and small employers to sign up.
Major activities will include soliciting health plan bids and selecting plans that will participate in the new purchasing pool; final planning for “assisters” who will help with the enrollment process; design and launch of a technology platform to handle eligibility and enrollment, and development of operational, accounting and finance support for the exchange.
The small current staff is expected to swell to more than 200 by June 2013, an employment boost for the Sacramento area.
“We’re committed to implementing health care reform, and today’s award reflects the strong partnership we have with the federal government,” Diana Dooley, California Health and Human Services secretary and chair of the exchange, said in a news release. “These funds will be used to develop the backbone of a new health care system — one that promises coverage to millions of Californians who, for a variety of reasons,including cost, currently go without it.
This is the third round of funding for the California exchange. Startup funding of $1 million was awarded in September 2010. A $39 million grant in 2011 allowed the exchange to accelerate planning and development.
Source: John & Rusty Report via Choice Admin