The Board was initially working toward a submission of a Level 2 Exchange Planning Grant on June 29 to request funds from the federal government for the next stage of implementation. However, the Board decided that applying for a second Level 1 grant in the same time frame affords them more flexibility. After that grant application is submitted, the Board will be working toward submitting a “blueprint” of the Exchange that is due to the federal government September 14, 2012.
To that end, an aggressive work plan lays ahead of the Exchange’s board and growing staff.
June 12 Meeting
Discussions: SHOP Exchange
Consumer Outreach Focus Groups
Service Center Options
Draft Level 1 Grant
Announcement of CalHEERS Vendor
Decisions: Outreach and Marketing Plan
Scope, Policies, and Budget of Assisters, Navigators, Brokers
June 19 Meeting
Discussions: Qualified Health Plans
Decisions: SHOP Exchange
Level 1 Grant
July 19 Meeting
Discussions: Qualified Health Plans & Benefit Design
Assister and Navigators Training and Oversight
Decisions: Consumer Assistance/Ombudsman
Assisters and Navigators
August 23 Meetings
Decisions: Qualified Health Plans Benefit Design and Policies
Assisters and Navigators Training and Oversight
Stakeholder Engagement Processes
Health Plan Solicitation
Today’s meeting included in-depth discussions of the draft Outreach and Marketing plan presented by Ogilvy, and the draft recommendations on Navigators and Assisters presented by Heath and Associates.
The draft Marketing and Outreach plan appropriately catered to the diverse needs of Californians, and many present in the audience recognized the consultants’ work on the plan. One component of the plan includes grant programs to engage community based groups, who are already trusted messengers, in helping with the outreach for the Exchange. Many stakeholders were very supportive of this idea. The plan is posted on the Exchange website (direct link here) and written comments will be accepted until May 31.
The Navigators and Assisters proposal from Health and Associates was a bit more controversial. It is likely that many people will require in-person assistance navigating the Exchange and other new coverage options starting in 2012. Some estimates suggest that up to 75% of these individuals will need in-person assistance. The Board heard comments expressing varying perspectives on who should be compensated for providing that help. Many entities that the consultants do not recommend compensating for that service testified why they should get paid, but advocates warn that providing payments to those who directly benefit from enrolling people may create a financial incentive for steering. The proposal is also available on the Exchange website (direct link here) and comments will also be accepted until May 31.
The Exchange Board is moving quickly to make decisions and get the Exchange up and running. For those who have yet to weigh in on any of the topics discussed today or on future agendas, do not delay in submitting those comments to the Exchange.