CA Health Reform Implementation Building Steam in November


Dedicated to affordable, quality healthcare and coverage for all Americans.

By Consumers Union on Friday, November 18th, 2011

The November California Health Benefits Exchange Board meeting (agenda) was held earlier this week and the Board is really be picking up steam with the addition of Peter Lee as its Executive Director. In his second meeting, he presented a “Decision Roadmap” that gives us a better idea of the Board’s vision for the coming year, as well as the steps required to meet the ambitious plan. Click here to see the roadmap.

To meet the demands of the roadmap, the Board spelled out a robust stakeholder involvement and “evidence-based” decision making process. Mr. Lee stated that every aspect of the roadmap will rely on intensive conversations with stakeholders and that decisions made by the Board must be supported by evidence wherever possible.

In addition to presenting the roadmap and decision making process, the Board announced a new rule to limit public testimony to two minutes in anticipation of the next Board meeting. During that meeting, the Board will experiment with allowing people to testify via the internet from other parts of the state. This change will allow folks who do not have the means to make it to Sacramento to provide input into the process of developing a new, truly competitive marketplace where consumers can get concise information and financial help obtaining coverage. We will let you know how you can participate as soon as we find out.

The Board also encouraged the public to submit their comments via letters or email. If you have comments, click here to submit via email.

The last section of the meeting focused on developing a first-class user experience for enrollment in the Exchange. A presentation of the UX 2014 project, a public/private partnership across eleven states, tasked with designing an interface between consumers and Exchanges, based on consumer needs. The presentation gave us a glimpse into what consumers may see when they go online to sign up for health insurance.

The design will quickly and clearly give consumers a way to make apples-to-apples comparisons of plans based on cost, coverage and quality. This will be essential to demystifying the insurance marketplace and introducing real competition for your business amongst insurers. Click here to see the presentation. If you have any ideas of what would help you make an informed decision about purchasing health insurance, let me know at

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