Washington, DC—Today the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the DC HBX Authority convened the first session of a Business Outreach Series designed to inform and garner input from the small business community about the implementation of the District's Health Benefit Exchange. The Series begins the strategic partnership between DSLBD and the HBX Authority to ensure the participation of DC's small business community in the ongoing discussions, decision making, and development of an Exchange that will provide quality, affordable health insurance coverage for individual's small businesses in the District of Columbia.
"DSLBD is pleased to partner with the HBX Authority to involve the business community in helping to implement the Health Benefit Exchange," said DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew. "The HBX has the potential to benefit DC businesses by maximizing competition, transparency, and choice in the health benefit market. The Business Outreach Series delivers the direct engagement necessary to help DC businesses realize those benefits."
The partnership between DSLBD and the DC HBX Authority was developed from a mutual interest in ensuring that the District business community has an active role in the establishment and operations of the Exchange. Incorporating the business community's perspective supports the HBX's goals of stakeholder engagement, maximization of competition, transparency, and choice in the health benefit market as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
"The DC HBX Authority is excited to partner with DSLBD in hosting the Business Outreach Series," said Dr. Mohammad Akhter, DC HBX Authority Chairman. "This partnership exemplifies our shared commitment to ensuring that the perspectives of the business community are taken into account in the policy and operational decisions of the HBX Authority."
The Business Outreach Series is structured to provide an introduction to key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), followed by a full discussion of the insurance market plan, Navigator Program and other consumer assistance programs and future steps. Businesses will able to provide input and to share feedback directly with board members of the DC HBX Authority. Each session features presentations by DC HBX Authority leaders and staff with ample time for business-specific questions and feedback from participants. Monthly session dates for 2013 are currently being arranged and will be communicated by DSLBD and the HBX Authority.
To learn more about the DC Health Benefit Exchange, please visit: http://dchbx.com. For questions that businesses frequently ask about the HBX, please visit: http://healthreform.dc.gov. To learn more about DSLBD, please: visit http://dslbd.dc.gov, follow DSLBD on Twitter at @SmallBizDC, or like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/smallbizdc.
About the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development
The District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) fosters the economic growth, development, and retention of District of Columbia based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District's commercial districts. DSLBD envisions a business environment in which DC businesses are connected in real-time with local, federal, and global business opportunities; businesses navigate government quickly, confidently, and effectively; and, every entrepreneur and business with a great idea and a great plan has the capital to make it happen.
About the DC Health Benefit Exchange
The Executive Board of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority was established as a requirement of Section 6 of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority Establishment Act of 2011, effective March 2, 2012 (DC Law 19-0094). The Exchange is the central mechanism created by the health reform bill to help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance coverage. Beginning in 2014, an Exchange will be established to help consumers make valid comparisons between certified plans that have met benchmarks for quality and affordability. The Exchange will also administer the new health insurance subsidies and facilitate enrollment in private health insurance, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). With more than 93 percent of its residents insured, the District of Columbia is second in the nation for providing health insurance coverage to its residents.