Washington, DC –Today, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) announced that DC Health Link—the District’s online health insurance marketplace—is launching its Broker Quoting Tool, an application designed to make it easier for insurance brokers to help determine the best health insurance plans for prospective and current small business clients through DCHealthLink.com.
“We’re excited to offer this new tool to DC Health Link insurance brokers, because they play a vital role in helping their small business clients select health insurance plans that best work for their business and their employees,” said Mila Kofman, J.D., Executive Director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. “With 151 different health plan choices offered by three United companies, two Aetna companies, CareFirst, and Kaiser, the broker quoting tool makes it much easier for brokers to present options to their clients. Brokers told us a tool like this would be helpful. We listened, we built it, and we are pleased to be deploying it now.”
The Broker Quoting Tool is launching in Beta and is designed to function as an interactive “scratch pad,” helping insurance brokers develop and customize the optimal benefit coverage for prospective employer clients. Using just a small business’ employee ages, the Broker Quoting Tool enables brokers to create multiple proposals for their employer clients by easily changing plan and benefit options, seeing real-time cost updates, and presenting side-by-side comparison of benefits and costs for each proposal. Brokers can then present these proposals to their employer clients to assist them in determining the right plan and benefit options that best meet that employer’s needs and budget.
If the employer chooses to accept one of the proposals presented by their broker using the Broker Quoting Tool, the small business can simply log in to their DC Health Link account, click a button to select the plan and benefit options as shown in the broker’s proposal. With one click, the employer’s account is automatically updated to reflect the selection and their employee open enrollment period can start.
Ninety percent of small businesses with health insurance coverage through DC Health Link use a broker. The 151 offerings available to small businesses include PPO, HMO, POS, and EPO options; nationwide networks; local/regional networks; zero deductible plans and HSAs. For 2017, all insurers offered some plans with lower rates than 2016, with the largest decrease being 19%.
DC Health Link’s innovation and continued technical advances were a major factor in the Clear Choices Campaign awarding DC Health Link’s suite of consumer decision support tools the highest grade in the nation in a report released earlier this year evaluating the tools offered by the 12 state-based health insurance exchange websites and the federal site HealthCare.gov. Clear Choices—an advocacy campaign representing patients, providers, insurers, employers, and life science companies—gave the DC Health Link website the top score of 92 out of a possible 100 (the average exchange website score was 66 out of 100). DC Health Link was one of only three exchange websites to offer all three decision-support tools Clear Choices considers the “gold standard of informed consumer choice.”
In June 2016, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) was also recognized for innovation in technology when it was named a winner of the Best Practices Award from the Amazon Web Services (AWS) City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge—a contest in which cities, counties, and municipalities from all over the world competed.
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