Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Exclusive Podcast from MA and UT Health Insurance Exchange Experts

We invite you to download the exclusive Health Insurance Exchange Podcast from Glen Shor of the Massachusetts Exchange and Norm Thurston of the Utah Exchange, the only two states which currently have working health exchanges.

Here is an exceprt from this exclusive podcast:

Glen, to you and Norm, do you have any advice for states that are just starting the process?
Glen Shor: I wouldn’t pretend that there is any one best way to do it for all 50 states. Each state has to first and foremost know their audience. The uninsured, of course, and the insured who are looking for better options in terms of affordable coverage and a good shopping experience. I think doing the best that you can to simplify the experience for people looking for affordable coverage will be to their benefit. Get the word out to everyone that you are in business and that you are here to help them. Closely collaborate with key stakeholders. Listen to their ideas and take advantage of their resources. Be flexible. Don’t think that after you’re up and running that the work is done. The work is really just beginning. Improve on things you do well. Look for new solutions for things that you could be doing better. I think these are probably words of advice for any successful enterprise and it is certainly the case for health insurance exchanges as they spring up throughout the country.

Norman Thurston: Some of the things that we would really encourage people to do is definitely understand your marketplace, understand what the problems are and develop a solution that is tailored to those problems. But, recognize that that solution has to be scalable. It can’t be based on manual processes. It can’t be based on paper and people doing data entry. It definitely has to be automated and be able to handle a large volume.

It’s also critical to keep as much of the existing market intact as you can. Most states will find that they have a lot of people who are insured and they want to keep them insured the way that they are currently insured. You don’t want to design something that interferes with what’s already going on.

Then, in terms of technology, making sure that you reach out to private solutions. Do a lot of beta testing to make sure that the private solution really does what you want it to do. It’s going to take more time than you think; it always will. Just plan on going slow to make that work.

Join Glen and Norm as they discuss their experiences with establishing a state Health Insurance Exchange at the Health Insurance Exchange Congress where health plans, states and the federal government are addressing the opportunities and challenges presented by the implementation of Exchanges.  This event will take place November 9-11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  For more information on the presentations from Glen and Norm and the rest of the program, visit our webpage.

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