California and Minnesota Seeking Input about Exchange Design

By Arie Stock

Even though exchanges won’t officially open their doors until 2013, California and Minnesota are already seeking input from consumers and health care stakeholders about how to design these new health insurance marketplaces. Both states are making great efforts to involve the public in their quests to develop simple, streamlined, and seamless enrollment systems.


The California Health Benefit Exchange, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) are seeking public comments on questions regarding marketing, outreach, enrollment, and retention. This is a valuable opportunity to influence the design of the exchange and to inform decision makers about the most effective ways to drive enrollment. Comments are due January 30, 2012, to Don’t miss this opportunity to make your voice heard!

For all those techies out there, the aforementioned agencies will also release a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) and RFP comment form on December 20, 2011, to solicit feedback on what the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment, and Retention System (Cal – HEERS) should do and how the IT system should be designed. Comments on the RFP are due December 30, 2011, to


Minnesota is inviting its residents to test several prototypes for its exchange, and the state is seeking feedback through an online survey. Five companies developed sample modules that, among other functions, take individuals and small businesses through the process of applying and paying for coverage. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has only made these modules available until the end of January, so be sure to check out the sample exchange sites soon!

If you live in California or Minnesota, or if your organization has affiliates there, be sure to spread the word about these opportunities to provide input about the design and usability of health insurance exchanges.   



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