The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) was established by the District of Columbia to develop and operate the ACA on-line health insurance marketplace called DC Health Link for residents and small businesses in the District. HBX is a private-public partnership established to foster competition and transparency in the private health insurance market, enabling individuals and small businesses to compare health insurance prices and benefits and to purchase affordable, quality health insurance. Although the last state to start building the IT system, DC was one of four state-based marketplaces to open for business on time on October 1, 2013. DC Health Link offers health insurance from 3 UnitedHealth Companies, 2 Aetna Companies, CareFirst BlueCrossBlueShield and Kaiser. Approximately 100,000 people have private health insurance through DC Health Link and this includes over 5000 District small businesses, approximately 11,000 designated Congressional staff and Members including District offices, and thousands of District residents. Since opening for business, we’ve cut the uninsured rate in half and now more than 96% of District residents having health coverage.
Among state-based marketplaces and the federal marketplace, DCHealthLink is ranked number one for consumer decision support tools by Clear Choices (2017 and 2018). AWS awarded its 2016 and 2018 Best Practices in Innovation Award to HBX for using agile development open source code and being fully in the cloud. In 2017 the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business chose HBX to replace old technology. HBX and the Connector have the first in the nation and only state-based marketplace partnership to share technology and costs.