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Exchange Board Approves Level I Grant Application

The California Health Benefit Exchange board met as a 5-member entity for the first time this morning in Sacramento. The Board and public were pleased to welcome Dr. Robert Ross of the California Endowment as the final appointment.

The purpose of this morning’s meeting was to approve the California’s Level I Establishment Grant application (due June 30). A few changes were made to the application since the June 15 Exchange Board meeting, including a reduction in FTEs from 75 to 63.8 (saves $1.4M) and an increase in consulting costs for background and research, stakeholder engagement, navigator programs, health plan management, consumer assistance, outreach and education (includes one more FTE and adds $1.3M). In developing staff positions, it’s important to note that funding becomes the state’s responsibility after 2015 and must be sustained by assessments on health plans. The final budget was reduced slightly from $40.3M to $40.1M.

The 12-month Level I application was approved by the Board as a stepping stone to a larger, more robust Level II grant (application due in March 2012).
The Board emphasized the focus on developing effective eligibility and enrollment, which will include four points of entry (online, in-person, mail, phone). They are committed to engaging stakeholders starting as early as July and have allocated funds to hire a staff person to head stakeholder engagement.

Meeting materials, including summaries of the Level I Establishment Grant application, can be accessed here.