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‘Road Map’ Lays Out Details for Building Exchange

The Children’s Partnership “blueprint for reform” released this week marks an important milestone in the formation of California’s Health Benefit Exchange, according to Kristen Golden Testa, health director of the Children’s Partnership.

“The [Health Benefit] Exchange board did a lot of work on the visioning process, figuring out what they wanted the exchange to be like,” Golden Testa said. “This offers a road map to get to a lot of the visioning pieces.”

The report was released in draft form to the exchange board in December, and some of the detail laid out in the report may have helped board staff develop that RFP, Golden Testa said.

“So, for example,” Golden Testa said, “one of the things the board wanted was that the eligibility and enrollment process should be easy for an individual to use. Now, that may have been the goal, but how do you do that?”

The Partnership’s paper focused on specifics to reach that goal, and others, she said.

“So one of the suggestions is to have all of the information about that individual accessed ahead of time, without them having to fill it all out,” she said. “That’s just one example, but that gives an idea.”

The Legislature passed AB 1296 last year that lays out rules for the enrollment system in broad terms, Golden Testa said. “This is more the nuts and bolts,” she said. “It lays out those types of elements, objectives and goals, and then how to get there.”

If a consumer advocacy group or legislative staffer wants to see how specific concerns — such as consumer assistance or linguistics — are addressed, this road map helps lay out those details, she said.

“It also has relevance with other states as well, since other states are considering the same questions,” Golden Testa said. “California-specific is how we wrote it, but it’s definitely applicable to what other states are doing.”

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