CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Nov 24, 2014) - A coalition of leading web-based health insurance brokers announced today the formation of the Association of Web-Based Health Insurance Brokers (AWHIB). The Association will advocate for key technical changes to enable the private sector to better facilitate the efficient enrollment of Americans in state and federal health insurance exchange marketplaces. AWHIB will seek to educate policy makers, government technical staff and the general public about the important role web brokers play in helping millions of Americans evaluate and select health insurance policies that best meet their needs and economic situations. AWHIB seeks to collaborate with consumers, insurers, regulators, lawmakers and other industry groups to continually develop technologies and inform policy that provide Americans with the greatest access to health insurance products and services.
AWHIB founding members include four prominent web-brokers: eHealth, GetInsured, GoHealth, and Towers Watson. Shane Cruz, the Chief Technology Officer of GoHealth, will serve as AWHIB's President and stated, "There are still more than an estimated 40 million Americans uninsured, and AWHIB believes this number can be substantially reduced with the private sector's help. AWHIB's establishment is a constructive step forward in enhancing the relationships between web-brokers, insurance carriers, and government-run health insurance exchanges. AWHIB's founders collectively have over 50 years of technical and operational experience in the health insurance e-commerce space. Our established technology, diverse partnerships, and licensed health insurance agents provide valuable support to issuers, public exchanges and consumers. By collaborating, we can improve the enrollment experience for all stakeholders and ensure that more Americans have access to the health insurance coverage they need."
Tom Tsao, the Executive Vice President and Chief Technology & Product Officer of eHealth, will serve as AWHIB's Vice President. "We are working together for a more seamless integration with government exchanges so private exchanges can use their expertise to scale subsidy-eligible enrollments, deliver high customer satisfaction and be a valuable partner to CMS," commented Tsao.
"Through this association we will work with other leading web-brokers to continually improve access to health insurance, so that more Americans and employers who sponsor coverage for their employees and retirees, can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing their health care and financial futures are protected," said Joe Murad, managing director with Towers Watson's Exchange Solutions.
Chini Krishnan, CEO and co-founder of GetInsured offered, "We are delighted with AWHIB's formation. Building open, easy-to-use standards and services for our industry will be essential to achieving the administration's enrollment goals. We welcome the involvement of all like-minded organizations."
Charlene Frizzera, advisor to AWHIB and former Acting Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), remarked, "This association represents industry seeing a need and coming together to more effectively collaborate with federal and state governments to provide the best possible solutions for American health insurance consumers. Their ability to deliver innovative and timely technical solutions will be a strong complement to the good work CMS is doing to ensure Americans have access to health insurance coverage." AWHIB has engaged Frizzera and the consulting firm Leavitt Partners to help convene and advise the association.
With the 2015 open enrollment period underway there is a renewed emphasis on the complexity associated with shopping for and enrolling in health insurance. AWHIB seeks to be a partner with government agencies to help make this process as efficient and easy as possible in the future.