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DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority Named Finalist in Worldwide Competition for Technology Innovation

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

(Washington, DC) – The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) was named a finalist for the second time for the Best Practices Award by Amazon Web Services (AWS) City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge. According to AWS, the Best Practices Award will be given to a local or regional government leader, or public or private school or district that has deployed an innovative solution to solve a government challenge. The AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge is a worldwide competition with cities, counties, and municipalities from across the globe submitting applications. In 2016, DCHBX was named a winner of the Best Practices Award in the large city category.

By selecting DCHBX as one of just five finalists, AWS is recognizing DCHBX’s successful shared services model. DCHBX used its small business health insurance marketplace IT solution to replace an older, more expensive solution for the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business, a state-based marketplace. This first state-based marketplace partnership in the nation means that DCHBX and the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business share IT and operational costs for the on-line health insurance marketplace for small businesses. By sharing IT operational and development costs, both have saved millions of dollars.

"We are honored to be recognized by Amazon Web Services,” said Mila Kofman, J.D., Executive Director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. “Leveraging the cloud and utilizing agile, open source technology enabled us to partner with the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business, allowing us to continue investing and adding new features to benefit our small business and individual private health insurance customers while cutting our costs.

In 2015, DCHBX moved to a cloud-based, open-source software using agile development. DCHBX can add new features without taking the web-site off line, and during deployments customers can continue to use the site, seeing new features next time they log-in. DCHBX is saving approximately $1.8 million annually from the switch to AWS from a traditional data center.

In February 2017, DCHBX and the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business entered into the first and still the only state-based marketplace partnership in the nation. DCHBX deployed its small business marketplace IT solution in August 2017, and provides operational and IT support to the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business.

The winners of the Amazon Web Services City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge will be announced at the AWS Public Sector Summit June 20-21, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

Background

In 2016, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) was recognized for innovation in technology when it was named a winner of the Best Practices Award by Amazon Web Services for the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge. In 2017, AWS chose DCHBX for a case study highlighting DCHBX’s innovative use of AWS’ technology as the first state-based health insurance marketplace to operate in the cloud.

DCHBX is responsible for DC HealthLink, the on-line health insurance marketplace in the District of Columbia for small businesses and residents. There are 151 health plans available for small businesses from three United Health companies, two Aetna companies, Kaiser, and CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. There are 26 health plans available for individuals from Kaiser and CareFirst.

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