First Exchange Board Meeting of 2012!

The Exchange Board met today in Sacramento.

The Executive Director’s report included an update on two solicitations that were released in December. The first was a $900,000 RFP for Communication Support, Research and Marketing, Outreach and Education. This is contract will be responsible for the development of a statewide marketing, outreach and education strategy; planning and implementing the initial marketing and communications, and branding for the Exchange; and developing a plan for implementing an assisters program. The second, a $600,000 contract is for health plan management and the development of criteria for Qualified Health Plans and Delivery System Reform. Proposals are due on January 30, 2012 for both of these solicitations, and both programs will begin on March 1, 2012. The Exchange, DHCS, and MRMIB is taking comments on both solicitations and will engage in a stakeholder process, especially on the Qualified Health Plan RFP. They had earlier engaged in a stakeholder process on outreach and enrollment.

The staff then presented an overview of the CalHEERS IT solicitation, which was released last month. The Exchange received over 1300 comments on the draft solicitation in the short comment period at the end of December. Many of these comments were incorporated in the final RFP, which will be released tomorrow. It will be a 2-part release, with contracting and financing documents as well as SHOP estimates being released on January 26, 2012. A contract is expected to be awarded in April, and the system will need to be ready on July 1, 2013. Part of the presentation was also intended to include estimates of the number of people that would actually be in the Exchange. UC Berkeley and UCLA worked with key experts in health care microsimulation modeling to refine these projections. Currently, they project that between 57% and 70% of those eligible will enroll, but more refined projections will be released shortly.

One thing that will be handled separately from the CALHEERS IT solicitation was the service center component that involves how the state will integrate the mail, in-person, and phone enrollment that is required by the ACA. Staff clarified that this portion will be considered as part of a process for service center planning that will begin on February 15 with the release of an inventory report. Between February 15 and February 28th, stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on service centers, and the planning will be completed in April.

The next meeting of the Exchange will be on this coming Thursday, January 26th, open session is expected to begin around 12 noon and the Board will be discussing comments to the Federal Government related to the Essential Health Benefits. The Exchange seeks comments on the Essential Health Benefits, preferably in the next few days.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.