Posted on Aug 20, 2010 by Sergio Ulloa
, a health insurance exchange that is a product of CHOICE
Administrators, announced that it has become the first health insurance exchange in the United States to reach 20 million member-months.
Health insurance exchanges offer consumers an easy way to compare costs and benefit options across a variety of health insurance products from insurers participating in the exchange. CaliforniaChoice
counts among its participants: Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, Health Net, Sharp Health Plan, and Western Health Advantage, as well as a variety of chiropractic, dental, vision and other ancillary benefit policies.
Started in 1996, CaliforniaChoice
is geared towards providing individuals and small and medium-sized employers an accessible way to find health insurance that fits both their coverage and budget needs. By reaching the landmark of 20 million member-months, CaliforniaChoice
demonstrates its position as not only the oldest health insurance exchange in America, but also one of its most successful. A member-month is simply the number of participants in the exchange who are members for each month.
While some state-run exchanges have not performed strongly, CaliforniaChoice
demonstrates that with the right set up, the exchanges can be very effective. The apparent key to success as a health insurance exchange boils down to having a variety of quality health plans covering different levels of benefits and price points, combined with decision support tools to make finding the appropriate health insurance plan easier for participants.
As part of the Senate health reform bill, H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was passed by the Senate in December 2009 and then by the House of Representatives in March 2010, each state must set up health insurance exchanges for individual and family health insurance plans, as well as small groups or companies of up to 100 employees. This mandate for health insurance exchanges takes effect on January 1, 2014.
The President of CHOICE
Administrators, Ron Goldstein said "If done properly - as the privately run CaliforniaChoice
has shown it can be - exchanges have the capacity to help us move to a more rational method of purchasing health coverage while getting society closer to achieving the noble goal of universal coverage for all its citizens," continuing on to say that "In many ways the exchange is like a giant, online health shopping mall filled with an assortment of carriers offering their products at various price points and benefits, the CaliforniaChoice
model has witnessed unprecedented success, and it's not a stretch to call it a model for how exchanges should be established and administered under the new regulations."
Based in Orange, California, CHOICE
Administrators inc. is a subsidiary of Word & Brown, that deals with developing and administering employee-choice health benefit programs. They oversee health insurance exchanges like CaliforniaChoice
51+, which offer healthcare policies to individuals, families and small and medium sized groups.