ORANGE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Two of the nation’s most respected organizations dedicated to improving access to affordable health insurance announced today a partnership that will help individuals and small businesses better identify and secure coverage that is right for their needs and budgets. The partnership will also assist individual state governments challenged with developing and launching their own health insurance exchanges as federally mandated.
Joining together in this groundbreaking effort is CHOICE Administrators, the nation’s leader in developing and administering health insurance exchanges, and Social Interest Solutions (SIS), a nonprofit organization whose innovative Internet solutions connect consumers to public and private health and social services that improve their quality of life. Together they will be offering a comprehensive turnkey solution unrivaled in the market.
“The common connection between CHOICE Administrators and SIS is that we each bring proven, currently operational systems to the relationship,” says Ron Goldstein, president of CHOICE Administrators. “That eliminates guesswork, trial and error, and wasted resources. As states look for efficient ways to organize, market and operate their exchange as mandated by Congress, we can offer state governments a turnkey solution that is flexible and configurable to a specific state and backed by an unmatched track record of success.”
The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that every state establish a health insurance exchange by January 1, 2014, or default to a federal “fallback” program. Such exchanges are considered key to healthcare reform because, if properly managed, they have the potential to create more efficient markets, effectively extend coverage to the uninsured, and move America toward a more rational approach of value-based purchasing of health insurance.
The challenge for each state government is to identify how to establish, market and successfully operate an exchange that will fulfill the federal mandate while best serving the local citizenry. That is where the new partnership comes in.
Currently, SIS helps low-income individuals and families access appropriate federal, state and county-run programs such as Medicaid and food stamps (now called SNAP) with its One-e-App Web-based product. CHOICE Administrators works with the retail market in helping small employers and individuals select a health plan that’s right for them. Combined, these two organizations will create one user-friendly, Web-based “no-wrong-door” portal for all people entering the health exchange marketplace – individuals, employers, brokers and navigators.
From a single Web point of entry, people will have access to public programs such as Medicaid, subsidized and non-subsidized individual and family programs, and small group coverage. What’s more, this integrated online solution will provide consumers the ability to easily investigate and migrate from one plan or program to another – such as moving from a Medicaid plan to private insurance coverage – as their individual situation changes or they undergo a “change-in-life” circumstance. It can also be used to connect those in need with access to food stamps and other assistance programs.
“The best way for a state exchange to attract the type of balanced enrollment that will allow it to be a stable and sustainable force in the market is by being inclusive to everyone,” says
Bobbie Wilbur, co-director of SIS. “State exchanges will also need to be operationally and administratively excellent with a strong consumer focus. Combined, CHOICE Administrators and SIS bring this approach, track record, and the enabling technology to states looking for the best way to set up an exchange.”
Wilbur and Goldstein predict that states will embrace this new offering, which will allow states to “brand” their exchange under the state’s name while receiving the kind of support and experience that will help ensure success and customer satisfaction.
About CHOICE Administrators
CHOICE Administrators® Exchanges is the nation’s leader in developing and administering health insurance exchanges. Currently serving more than 10,000 employers and more than 150,000 members, CHOICE Administrators is a member of The Word & Brown Companies, the nation’s leading developer and administrator of consumer-choice exchange models. Among the products currently operated by CHOICE Administrators are the CaliforniaChoice® small group (2-50 employees) and mid-market (51-199 employees) private exchanges and Quotit, one of the nation’s largest individual/family proposal and online enrollment system that generates 4.2 million individual health quotes annually. Further information is available at www.choiceadmin.com.
About Social Interest Solutions
Social Interest Solutions (SIS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to leveraging technology innovation to improve consumers’ access to public and private health and social services. As an active influencer and promoter of policy reform, SIS has successfully developed and deployed pioneering technology solutions that have positively impacted the quality of life for the nation’s underserved population.
In early 2003, SIS developed One-e-App, a Web-based system that streamlines the often complicated eligibility and enrollment process by making it possible to transparently connect and share data across otherwise disparate federal and state social services systems and programs. Today One-e-App is deployed in Arizona, California, Indiana and Maryland and has served seven million individuals. www.socialinterest.org
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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Technology Internet Software Health Professional Services Insurance General Health Managed Care