Insurance exchange meeting update

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The CT Health Insurance Exchange Board chose their three CEO candidates to send on to the Governor at last week’s meeting. The decision was made without a voting consumer representative and after another hour-long closed-door meeting. Names of the three chosen were not released; hopefully they do not have close ties to the insurance industry. A bill to add one consumer and one small business representative is making its way slowly through the General Assembly. In an interesting irony, the Board has determined that the general perception of CT stakeholders is that they have not accomplished much. Rather than consider whether the crowd is wise and improve performance, they have chosen to engage their communications consultants to fix their image with a media campaign including postcards, emails, webinars, and a website. Thankfully they have heard from CMS about the need to keep costs under some control and are looking to coordinate with state agencies, especially DSS, and with the federally funded New England IT exchange collaboration. RI, the first state to receive Level 2 exchange funding, did not receive their full request as CMS asked them to reuse available resources. CT’s exchange is reportedly also seeking to borrow a large sum from the General Fund until more federal money is granted and plan to hire nine more staff. The Board was asked to trust their leader and staff and authorize the exchange to enter into an undisclosed $3 million contract. Board member requests for information on the contract, the services to be delivered, the contractor, or the process used to choose them were denied. In good news, they will be engaging a research consultant to develop a better analysis of who likely exchange customers are, where they live, etc.