The state will pay the company almost $360 million for creating and operating the enrollment system.
State officials have announced that the contract for the California health insurance exchange eligibility and enrollment system will go to Accenture, for $359 million,
The company is expected to have the system up and running to by late 2013.
It will need to allow residents of the state, as well as small businesses, to shop for medical coverage and find out whether or not they are eligible to obtain federal healthcare subsidies, as well as to enroll in those programs once they have made a decision.
The California Health Benefit Exchange intends to begin enrollment October 1, 2013.
This enrollment would be for coverage that would become effective in January 2014. The Dublin, Ireland-based Accenture consulting firm will be paid $183 for the initial creation of the system itself, and will then receive $176 million over the next four years for the continued operation and development.
This, assuming that the federal government gives its approval of the contract.
This California health insurance marketplace, as is the case with other state programs across the nation, will perform negotiations with medical insurers in order to obtain the best possible rates and to help small businesses and individual consumers to select the right plan for them, and at the right price, by breaking the policies down into five categories based on the level of benefit they offer and their cost.
It is estimated that the marketplace will be responsible for the enrollment of 1.7 million additional state residents into the Medi-Cal state Medicaid program for the poor, while it distributes premium subsidies from the federal government to an estimated 2 million people in order to assist them in being able to afford their plans. According to the state exchange, families with a combined annual income of up to $80,000 will qualify for subsidies on their premiums.
According to the executive director of the California health insurance exchange, and a former Obama administration healthcare official, Peter V. Lee, “We want the consumer experience of enrolling in health insurance and getting the subsidies you are eligible for to be as easy as buying shoes on Zappos or getting a book on Amazon.”