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Exchange Board Meets for the First Time

Earlier today, the Board of the California Health Benefit Exchange — now being abbreviated “CHBX” — met for the first time in Sacramento.

Even though only 4 of 5 board members were present (the 5th board member, to be appointed by the Senate President Darrell Steinberg, has yet to be announced), there was an air of excitement at this, the initial meeting of the Board of the nation’s first Health Exchange. At the meeting, the Board covered quite a bit of ground and made some significant decisions.

Both the meeting agenda and copies of meeting materials are available now for you to download.

Among others, here are some major take-aways from today’s meeting:

Board member (and CHHS Secretary) Diane Dooley was appointed interim Chairperson of the Board.

The Board publicly outlined their duties as defined in the ACA and CA law (available here under Agenda Item IV).

The Board decided to pursue a “Level 2” Establishment Grant rather than a “Level 1” Establishment Grant. The Level 1 application would be rather short, but funding would only be for one year. The Level 2 application would be for 4 years of funding, but the application will be extremely complicated and the time line will be short.

The Board created a subcommittee — staffed, for now, only by Board member (and former CHHS Secretary) Kim Belshe — to over see efforts complete the Level 2 Establishment Grant by Sep. 30, 2011.

The Board voted to affirm Patricia Powers as the CHBX’s interim administrative officer. Ms. Powers is currently President and CEO of the Center for Health Improvement. She has previously served as President & CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health, Co-Founder of the Leapfrog Group, Director of a Bay Area Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative on the working uninsured, chief administrative officer of California’s PAC Advantage and a policy analyst in Washington D.C. Ms. Powers will serve as the CHBX’s interim administrative officer for no more than four months.

The Board established a Search & Recruitment Subcommittee that will work to find a permanent Executive Director and other senior staff for the CHBX. Board members Paul Fearer and Diana Dooley will serve on the committee.

With so much to do and so many decisions to make, there will be two CHBX Board meetings next month: Wed., May 11 & Tue., May 24.