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Public encouraged to provide feedback on information technology components of Health Insurance Exchange

12/5/2011 10:14:43 AM

For Immediate Release

ST. PAUL, MN - Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman today invited Minnesotans to offer input on potential information technology components for a Minnesota-made Health Insurance Exchange. At noon today, sample modules-a series of websites simulating what an Exchange might look like-will go live for public evaluation.

"We are committed to developing a user-friendly environment built by Minnesotans, for Minnesotans," said Commissioner Rothman. "Ultimately, consumers and small businesses would use this tool to choose the coverage that best suits their needs. We want to gather input from as many Minnesotans as possible, including consumers, small businesses, insurers, health care providers, navigators, agents and brokers. I strongly encourage all Minnesotans to check out these website simulations, and provide their honest and complete feedback."

A Minnesota-made Health Insurance Exchange would provide consumers with a simple way to find, compare, choose, and purchase health care coverage. The Department of Commerce is working on analytical, operational, and technical infrastructure planning for an Exchange, in partnership with the Minnesota Departments of Human Services and Health, and with the advice of the Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Task Force.

The Commerce Department released a two-stage "proof of concept" request for proposals for the information technology components of an exchange in June. The request asked vendors to propose innovative, flexible, and interoperable designs that could accommodate various policy decisions and changes over time. In stage one, vendors submitted proposals for consideration and a subset of vendors were selected to receive financial stipends to develop sample modules to demonstrate options for the components of an exchange. Stage two of the process starts today with evaluation of the sample modules for possible exchange development.

"The Exchange will give Minnesotans the opportunity to choose a health plan that is closest to their specific needs. Having public feedback on the modules will allow us to incorporate suggestions and ideas into a strong interactive platform," said Health Insurance Exchange Director, April Todd-Malmlov.

The simulations launched this afternoon will encompass all the basic functions that the Health Insurance Exchange would need to perform, including: eligibility determination; individual enrollment; small employer eligibility and enrollment; certification and display of health benefit plan options and costs; navigator/agent/broker listing; display of health care provider information; premium aggregation and payment; and account administration.

Each module has three or four samples from different vendors to review. Vendors who have submitted modules are Ceridian, Curam, Deloitte,, and MAXIMUS/Connecture. Links to each of the modules can be accessed from the Minnesota Department of Commerce website at noon today.

After reviewing the modules, viewers will be directed to an online survey where they can share their opinions on each module that they review. The public has until Wednesday, December 21 to provide feedback which will then be compiled for use in determining the selection of module vendors for exchange development. The sample modules will remain open for review and feedback through the end of January 2012. Public input after December 21 is encouraged so it can be collected for subsequent development planning of the modules by the selected vendors.

"The direct input we collect from Minnesota consumers, small businesses, insurers, health care providers, navigators, agents and brokers over the next several weeks will help Minnesota develop the technology it needs for an Exchange," said Commissioner Rothman. "We are determined to work on this initiative together, including all interested stakeholders, to ensure this Minnesota-made exchange meets the unique needs of our families, businesses, health care system, and economy."

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