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Health Benefit Exchange Announces Intent to Award $359 Million CalHEERS Contract to Accenture LLC

The California Health Benefit Exchange today announced its intent to award a $183 million contract to Accenture LLC for initial development and implementation of the CalHEERS project, according to documents posted online.

Accenture was also awarded a $176 million contract for the project’s continued development and initial operating costs over the next three and a half years, according to CalHEERS. The contract, to build the California Healthcare Eligibility, Enrollment and Retention System, will implement the Affordable Care Act in California.

Federal funding from the Affordable Care Act will largely support the project, with the state supporting the $3.6 million cost to support Medi-Cal and Healthy Families and revenue from the system funding continued development after 2015. With the intent to award filed, the federal government now has 60 days to approve the project and release funding, said David Panush, director of Government Relations for the Exchange.

"We hope it will be much quicker than that," he said.

CalHEERS will allow residents seeking health coverage under the act a single resource, simplifying the eligibility and enrollment processes for the California Health Benefit Exchange, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families programs in the state, according to the announcement.

The project includes the development of a new Web portal, set to go live with pre-enrollments on October 1, 2013. Individuals, families and small businesses will have access to the portal to determine available subsidies, compare insurance plans and enroll in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, according to the announcement. Project organizers estimate that 4.4 million California residents will benefit from subsidies or health insurance coverage as a result of the CalHEERS portal.

In accordance with federal health care reform, the Health Benefit Exchange will create a new insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health plans using federal tax subsidies and credits beginning in 2014. The CalHEERS project is sponsored by the Health Benefits Exchange, DHCS, which oversees Medi-Cal; and MRMIB, which oversees Healthy Families.

Accenture LLC declined to comment on the award.

[Accenture is a sponsor of]