California Health Benefit Exchange


What Will California’s Health Benefit Exchange Application Look Like?

DraftImmediately following the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, the head of California’s Health Benefit Exchange laid out his vision for revolutionizing the health insurance market.

“We know buying insurance is really complicated. We want to make it as easy as buying a book on Amazon,” said Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange.

But as the state has worked to create the actual application for health insurance, the idea of a one-click purchase is far from the reality.

“This is a brand new law and it’s complicated,” says Sam Karp, vice president of programs at the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF). “It’s reasonable to expect the implementation will take not just a year. It will take a few years.” Continue reading

What’s In A Name? ‘Health Benefit Exchange’ Seeks New Brand

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a partnership that includes Capitol Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

By Pauline Bartolone, Capital Public Radio

(Image: Kaiser Health News)

Don't worry -- "avocado" was rejected. (Image: Kaiser Health News)

As states work to comply with the federal health care law, many are designing their insurance exchanges, where people will be able to shop for coverage.

But just the word “exchange” sounds to many like off-putting government-speak, and some states are eager to come up with a more appealing name for these new marketplaces.

Peter Lee, who directs California’s Health Benefit Exchange, says it’s up for a new name, and he says they want it to sound fresh, dynamic and innovative.

“What we’re trying to figure out is what’s a name that’s going to stick, that’s going to grab hold, that all Californians are going to say ‘Boy, that’s where I go to find healthcare,’ ” Lee says.

The exchange will have a website where people can buy private health insurance, and many consumers will have government subsidies to help them purchase the insurance. Planners hope at least 3 million California customers will enroll for benefits starting in 2014. But that 3 million is a diverse bunch — so organizers want a name that will graball of them. Continue reading