Utah’s Ave. H Small Business Healthcare Exchange Powered by PlanSource

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Orlando, FL – May 19, 2014 PlanSource, a cloud-based provider of benefits administration, exchange, payroll, and HRIS solutions to employers, today announced that it successfully powered the roll-out of the online health insurance marketplace and benefits shopping platform for Utah’s small business healthcare exchange, Avenue H.

Since 2010, Avenue H has helped Utah’s small businesses control costs and simplify their benefits management, while offering expanded health coverage options to their employees. After three years, however, state officials knew they needed to improve the efficiency of their enrollment process, especially the manual intervention dictated by participating insurance carriers and the nature of the state’s program. When open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace started on October 1, 2013, Utah officials saw it as an opportunity to update their processes on a single end-to-end solution.

“With their best in-class technology, scalability, and expertise in defined contribution options, PlanSource was a natural partner for Avenue H,” said Patty Conner, director of Avenue H. “PlanSource’s technology enabled us to improve the efficiency of our enrollment dramatically, and was a major reason Avenue H has been so successful. The manual intervention of having to add a client to the database, was the extra step that we were keen to avoid. If we still were using manual intervention, the process would have taken weeks instead of hours.”

“The Utah State Government has been a strong advocate for healthcare reform for years,” said Scott Carver, President, PlanSource. “They recognized the importance of helping the state’s small businesses manage rising healthcare costs, while also offering their employees improved quality, expanded coverage, and a better user experience overall. Avenue H turned to us to improve efficiency by cutting out manual steps and automating processes with a lights-out implementation. We’re thrilled with the results and look forward to watching the registrations grow.”

In July 2013, just four months before the start of open enrollment, PlanSource was officially hired. Given the short turnaround, PlanSource and Avenue H prioritized parts of the development process, choosing a beta roll-out of the software. Previously, employer groups first had to sign up before unique plans and rates were generated for each group, which could take weeks or longer.  Avenue H anticipated that consumers would need a tool to access information ahead of registration, which would ease the strain on the system. By design, employers and employees would be able to access only rates and plans upfront before registration opened on November 7, 2013.

From October 31, 2013 to January 31, 2014, Avenue H attracted 80,000 unique visitors. A manual and labor-intensive process that used to take 60 to 90 days to get unique quotes for employee groups now takes less than an hour thanks to PlanSource. Employees now enter their registration information only once before it automatically update across the platform. This eliminates the need to enter information into different systems and provides greater efficiency and information accuracy.

For defined contributions in most exchanges, employers are required to contribute 50 cents per every employee’s dollar. Under Avenue H, employers have more flexibility. They contribute a flat dollar amount and can contribute differently to eligible employees based on criteria including age, family size, and waiting periods. Avenue H found that employees using defined contributions actually shopped smarter and employers ended up saving money. Employees often picked plans where employers would cover the majority of the plan.

As of May 6, 2014, Avenue H had 473 small employer groups that are participating on exchange – roughly around 10,635 covered lives – with a sales conversion rate of 31 percent. A full 85 percent of small businesses have renewed with Avenue H to date. Looking back at 2013, 62 percent of employees who signed up for health insurance through Avenue H were previously uninsured.

To view a copy of the case study on the PlanSource Ave H implementation, visit http://www.plansource.com////case-studies/PlanSource_Case-Study_Ave-H.pdf.