Payers, Health IT

Meet the tech company focused on streamlining state-based insurance exchanges

IdeaCrew provides a state-based exchange technology solution that aims to make it easier for people to sign up for and retain healthcare coverage. The company works with states that are not using the federal marketplace platform and helps them provide a cost-effective, streamlined exchange to their residents.

Affordable Care Act, ACA, exchanges, Obamacare,

With the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, a streamlined and cost-effective way for Americans to sign up and retain coverage is essential. This is precisely what IT services company IdeaCrew aims to help states — which are not on the federal marketplace — provide for their residents as ACA enrollment booms, topping 12 million.

The company has been working with the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, which operates the ACA online health insurance marketplace called DC Health Link, since 2013. Two years later, the Washington, D.C.-based company developed a state-based exchange technology solution, which brings together insurance products and plans in the markets serving individuals, small business owners and Congress, said Dan Thomas, CEO of IdeaCrew, in a phone interview.

In D.C., the IdeaCrew platform has helped the exchange increase enrollment up to 100,000 members, eliminate paper applications to streamline processing and reduce call center wait times from 8.7 minutes to 1.5 minutes.

Further, D.C. residents who purchase private health insurance through DC Health Link will be eligible for additional subsidies from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which could save approximately $36 million in premium costs.

The platform enables residents to register and do comparison shopping for plans.

“Our technology communicates with the [insurance] carriers when folks enroll and send across their selections,” Thomas said.

Further, the platform automatically renews enrollment in the plan selected unless the member makes a change in the system.

“[The platform] helps set coverage for people and keep them covered,” Thomas said.

In addition to D.C., IdeaCrew is currently supporting Massachusetts and Maine in operating their insurance exchanges.

After the ACA was enacted, states went in different directions with regard to running their exchanges, Thomas said. Most opted to use the federal marketplace platform, but a handful contracted with vendors like hCentive to create their own solutions. Several states also bought consulting services from companies like Deloitte and Accenture, and it could take states $90 million to $100 million to get their exchange platforms up and running.

This is when midsized companies like IdeaCrew entered the market.

“Our relationship with the DC Health Benefit Exchange is a great example of the dynamism small and midsized entities are generating to help move people off of federal systems,” Thomas said.

IdeaCrew doesn’t lease their system to the states they work with — they build it for them and set it up in the cloud, so they don’t lose their system and data when the contract is up, he said. Not only that, but IdeaCrew offers a Software-as-a-Service model, so their customers receive maintenance services as well as gain access to new features and development.

“Because we know how to build software and we know the exchange space so well, we can deliver the technology and the services at a lower cost than our competitors,” Thomas said.

Photo: chokkicx, Getty Images