I just returned from a 2 day trip to Sacramento where I met with leaders of the health insurance industry, legislators and Covered California, the health benefit exchange. The meeting was sponsored by the California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU), the association of health insurance agents and brokers.
Michael Lujan, director of sales and marketing for Covered California, was a key note speaker at the event. Before his presentation to the group I had an opportunity to speak with him about some of my concerns about “Smart Sort,” the health plan selection tool that Covered California will use to help individuals chose a medical insurance plan. Michael assured me that they will be testing the site and that the algorithms in the selection process will fairly allocate members to all plans, a fear that I raised in an earlier blog post.
I also had an opportunity to meet with David Zanze, president of Pinnacle Claims Management. Covered California selected Pinnacle to coordinate all of the quoting and enrollment for the SHOP small business exchange – a huge task with very little time. David told me that they will be working closely with the companies that provide quotes for agents to ensure that the Covered California SHOP plans appear when we seek quotes for small group clients. By including Covered California rates, benefits and provider networks in the quoting systems of agents, we will be able to easily offer Covered California as an option to our clients.