SOURCE: bswift

bswift

April 17, 2013 16:52 ET

Access Health CT Selects HealthPass-bswift Solution to Provide Small Business Health Insurance Exchange Services

HealthPass to Work Closely With Technology Partner bswift to Operate Exchange, One of Only a Few to Offer Small Businesses "Employee Choice" of Health Plans

NEW YORK, NY and CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - April 17, 2013) -  HealthPass and bswift announced today that they have been selected by Access Health CT to provide services and technology to offer a choice of health insurance options to small businesses throughout Connecticut. Determined to set the standard for state health exchanges, Access Health CT will enable small businesses and their employees to select among competing health insurance plans when it launches in October of this year, despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently delayed this Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) feature until 2015.

Access Health CT's selection of the HealthPass-bswift solution will allow small business employers and employees in Connecticut to have a choice of health insurance products. Access Health CT's SHOP "defined contribution" or "employee choice" approach will allow employers to offer plans from multiple insurers to their employees but receive a single bill and write a single check to the exchange.

"We are pleased that Access Health CT has chosen to work with us in this exciting and historic initiative, and we look forward to helping them provide small businesses throughout the state with affordable health insurance," said Vincent Ashton, President and CEO of HealthPass. "We know that Access Health CT is committed to implementing the SHOP program this fall and we will be working closely with them to ensure that Connecticut small businesses have access to the best health insurance plans for their employees and families."

As part of the agreement, HealthPass will work closely with bswift, its partner for exchange technology and services. "We look forward to bringing the complementary capabilities of HealthPass as a small group exchange leader and bswift as a technology innovator to Access Health CT," said Rich Gallun, CEO, bswift. "Our collective experience with private and public exchanges gives us a great head start as the fall deadline rapidly approaches. We are excited to work with the state of Connecticut to deliver solutions to their small business community and create a successful SHOP model."

"We understand the importance of choice and affordability to small businesses and their employees. We know one size doesn't always fit all and that individual employees have different needs. Our SHOP products offer broad carrier choice while allowing employers to budget and fix their costs for health insurance," said Kevin Counihan, CEO, Access Health CT. "We are delighted to partner with HealthPass and bswift to enable businesses with 50 or fewer employees to offer these products and experienced administrative and customer service in Connecticut." 

Small businesses who purchase health insurance for their employees through Access Health CT may qualify for small business tax credits.

The HealthPass-bswift solution was selected after a comprehensive four-month process. HealthPass has significant experience in running small business insurance exchanges since the 1990s and currently provides support for small group insurance to nearly 30,000 members from 3,500 organizations, primarily through defined contribution plans. HealthPass plans to open an office in Stamford, Connecticut this summer with eight employees to start. bswift brings a track record of 13+ years in benefits technology serving thousands of employers and millions of consumers -- and experience with other private and public exchanges across the country. bswift's proven technology and experienced staff positions Connecticut to launch its SHOP Exchange on time this fall.

About bswift
Based in Chicago, bswift offers software and services that streamline benefits, HR and payroll administration for employers and public and private exchanges nationwide. bswift's state-of-the-art cloud-based technology and outsourcing solutions significantly reduce administrative costs and time-consuming paperwork, making life easier for administrators and millions of consumers who enroll in benefits with bswift. For more information, visit www.bswift.com and check out the bswift blog at www.bswift.com/blog.

About HealthPass
Founded in 1999, HealthPass is an independent, not-for-profit, commercial health insurance exchange offering small businesses and sole proprietors in the mid-Hudson and New York metropolitan area quality, affordable, and flexible health care coverage. HealthPass, a subsidiary of the Northeast Business Group on Health, also offers its expertise, experience and a platform of exchange-related services to operators of both public and private health insurance exchanges. The HealthPass model has empowered employees to individually choose their benefits based upon their unique needs and budgets. Employers benefit from the extensive support provided by the HealthPass team including COBRA Administration, member-claims advocacy, a streamlined administrative process, and world-class customer service. Employees select from a menu of options through various leading carriers, with choices including medical, dental, vision and life & disability coverage. For more information, visit www.healthpass.com.

About Access Health CT
Access Health CT (also known as the Exchange) was created by the Connecticut Legislature in 2011 and is a quasi-public agency established to satisfy requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act. Its mission is to increase the number of insured residents in Connecticut, promote health, lower costs and eliminate health disparities. Its vision is to provide a simple online shopping and enrollment experience for state residents and small businesses, starting with open enrollment in October 2013.

Access Health CT will ensure that participating health plans meet certain standards, and will facilitate competition and choice by rating the quality of each plan. Individuals and families buying coverage through the Exchange may qualify for tax credits on premiums. The Exchange will also coordinate eligibility and enrollment with state Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs. More information is available at www.AccessHealthCT.com.

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