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Partnership with Community and Industry Leaders Required to Enroll District's Uninsured in New Health Insurance Exchange

Friday, January 11, 2013
New HBX director enlists stakeholders; enrollment begins October 1, 2013.

With just one week officially at the helm of the District‘s Health Benefit Exchange (HBX) Authority, Mila Kofman, the newly appointed executive director, has hit the ground running by conducting a preliminary assessment of every facet of the current operation, meeting with city officials and agency staff, and listening to concerns of consumer groups and industry leaders – all of which will inform her decision to set new priorities for the HBX. At the top of her list of priorities, which she shared with the HBX executive board members in her first monthly report to the Board, are building industry partnerships and engaging consumer and community groups in building the insurance exchange.

“I firmly believe that to build a successful health insurance exchange where our residents, families and small businesses can choose quality affordable health plans, we must build it from the ground up and involve everyone,” said Kofman. We must leverage the resources of our sister agencies, health care leaders, community advocates, small business owners and industry professionals in working together to build one of the best health insurance exchanges in the country – one that meets the needs of consumers and businesses.”

Kofman will be implementing a process that involves stakeholder working groups. The new working groups will be chaired by a board member and vice chaired by a member of the Standing Advisory Board and will be given topic specific issues to address within set time-frame. Stakeholders will be asked to serve as members on the working groups and share their professional expertise.

“I am pleased with the direction that Mr. Kofman is taking,” said Dr. Mohammad Akhter, Chairman of the HBX Authority Executive Board. “This new approach will ensure that all of our stakeholders will help build the exchange. It recognizes that all are full partners in implementing and operationalizing the exchange for business owners, employees and residents to begin shopping for high quality health coverage options on October 1, 2013.”

The new advisory board approach is community based. The goal of the process is to discuss specific policy questions and identify areas where there is consensus.

The new working groups will perform their work between January and March. They will include:

  • Essential Health Benefit (EHB) Working Group
  • Network Adequacy Working Group
  • Quality Working Group
  • Certification of Quality Health Plans (QHP) Process Working Group
  • Premium Billing and Collections
  • Plan Choice Working Group
  • Sustainability Working Group
  • Dental Plans Working Group
  • Plan Offerings and Standardization of Benefits Working Group

In addition, three Advisory Boards will be established, Producer, Plan Management, and Consumer Assistance. Persons interested in serving on any of the Advisory Boards and Advisory Working Groups may contact Bonnie Norton at bonnie.norton@dc.gov or Linda Wharton Boyd, PhD at linda.whartonboyd@dchbx.com.