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July 2012 St@teside

Exchange Updates

In her July 10 letter to governors, Secretary Sebelius announced new deadlines for Level 1 and 2 Exchange Planning and Implementation Grants: August 15, 2012; November 15, 2012; February 15, 2013; May 15, 2013; August 15, 2013; November 15, 2013; February 14, 2014; May 15, 2014; August 15, 2013; and October 15, 2014.

Minnesota selected an IT vendor to support their health insurance exchange on July 16. The state announced a $41 million contract with Maximus, which is expected to run through March 2014. Maximus will be tasked with designing the exchange’s technology components related to eligibility determination, account administration, display of benefit plan costs and options, and health care provider information. Compared to other IT contracts entered into between states and IT vendors, Minnesota is pleased with the total costs outlined in the contract with Maximus, as it is at a considerably lower cost than other state contracts established with IT vendors.

Kentucky joined New York and Rhode Island to become the third state to create an exchange through Executive Order on July 17. The Executive Order establishes the Office of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, which will be housed in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

In addition to creating the exchange, Governor Beshear appointed Carrie Banahan to serve as the executive director. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Banahan was the executive director of the Office of Health Policy within the Governor’s Cabinet. An 11-member advisory board was also created in the Executive Order, and the governor will announce those appointments by mid-August.

Rhode Island
In June Governor Chafee announced Christine Ferguson as executive director for the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange. Ms. Ferguson has considerable health policy experience, serving as commissioner of the Department of Public Health Care in Massachusetts from 2003 – 2005, and running the Rhode Island Department of Human Services from 1995 – 2001. Most recently, she was a professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.