Health Insurance Access


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

Advocacy Group Says State (Mostly) Doing A Good Job …

State health agencies' call centers are doing a pretty good job, according to survey.

State health agencies' call centers are doing a pretty good job, according to survey.

That’s a headline that gets your attention, right? It’s somewhat unusual for an advocacy group to praise state agencies. But you see the ellipsis … the complete story is more like this: The advocacy group Health Access says four state health agencies are — mostly — doing a good job in customer service. It’s still intriguing.

Health Access conducted a survey with an eye toward 2014 when the federal health care overhaul rolls out. Potentially millions of people will access health insurance for the first time and state health agencies are likely to be swamped with calls.

Health Access says they wanted to establish a baseline of where the state is now. It used a “mystery calling” approach. A dozen people posing as consumers made more than 200 calls to four state agencies and asked common consumer questions, such as: “How do I sign up for Medi-Cal?” or “My doctor referred me to a specialist, but I have to wait a long time. Can you help me?” Continue reading