Bill Addresses Confusion Related to Benefit Exchange Website
Assembly Speaker John PÃ©rez (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a bill (AB 1761) that seeks to clear confusion surrounding the California Health Benefit Exchange website, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson , Sacramento Business Journal, 3/16).
Beginning in 2014, the exchange -- an online insurance marketplace -- is expected to help more than two million Californians obtain health coverage under the federal health reform law (California Healthline, 8/16/11).
Health Benefit Exchange Website Confusion
When performing a Google search for "California Health Benefit Exchange," two of the top five results are websites with the domain name californiahealthbenefitexchange.com that are run byÂ California Health Benefit Advisers -- a network of health insurance brokers and consultants, which also sells insurance.
State officials say consumers often confuse the private company's website with the state's California Health Benefit Exchange.
Phillip Daigle, president of California Health Benefit Advisers, said the company made unspecified changes to its website that were requested by the state Attorney General's office and has not received any other feedback.
David Panush -- government relations director for the California Health Benefit Exchange -- said despite the changes, the site still is causing confusion among the public.
The bill, which was introduced Feb. 17, would prohibit individuals or entities from appearing to represent the state insurance exchange or from appearing to offer services on behalf of the exchange, unless an official agreement has been reached.
Those who violate AB 1761 could face penalties for unfair business practices.
The Assembly Health Committee could consider the legislation on March 22 (Robertson , Sacramento Business Journal, 3/16).
Benefit Exchange Awards Contracts
In related news, the California Health Benefit Exchange in recent weeks has announced three contracts worth a total of nearly $2 million. The contracts include:
- $900,000 to Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide to coordinate communications and outreach;
- $700,000 to PricewaterhouseCoopers to develop healthÂ plan management processesÂ and strategies to improve health care delivery in California; and
- $300,000 to Wilcox Miller & Nelson to provide executive recruitment services.
Over the next month, the exchange is expected to award three additional contracts totaling more than $27 million (Robertson , Sacramento Business Journal, 3/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.