Exchange Board Clears Operational Blueprint, Grant Application
On Wednesday, California Health Benefit Exchange board members unanimously approved an operational blueprint and an application for more than $700 million in federal grant money, the AP/U-T San Diego reports.
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) is expected to send the blueprint to the Obama administration on Friday, which is the deadline for states to notify federal officials if they plan to establish insurance exchanges (Verdin, AP/U-T San Diego, 11/14).
About the Exchange
The federal health reform law requires states to launch online insurance marketplaces by 2014. California's exchange -- recently named Covered California -- primarily will serve individuals and small businesses.
Supporters hope that the exchange will function similar to websites like Amazon and Expedia so that users will be able to choose between various health plans through an easily navigable online store.
The exchange is expected to open for registration in October 2013, and about 4.4 million Californians are expected to use the exchange by the end of 2016.
Officials plan to spend nearly $90 million next year to market the exchange (California Healthline, 11/14).
Peter Lee -- the exchange board's executive director -- said, "This is a big moment for California going forward."
According to the AP/U-T San Diego, the deadline for submitting an exchange blueprint to the Obama administration is in mid-December.
However, Lee said that California officials "don't need more time." He added, "We've been working feverishly over the past year, we're excited about going forward, and that blueprint is a big deal" (AP/U-T San Diego, 11/14).
Broadcast CoverageOn Wednesday, Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reported on the board's approval of the operational blueprint (Bartolone, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 11/14). 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.