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DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority Wins Best Practices Award for IT Innovation

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Amazon Web Services recognizes DCHBX in worldwide competition

(Washington, DC) –Today, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) won the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Best Practices Award for the second time in the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge. DCHBX was selected as the winner in the large city category.

The AWS City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge is a worldwide competition, and the Best Practices Award recognizes a local or regional government entity, or a public or private school or district, that has deployed an innovative solution to solve a government challenge. In 2016, DCHBX was named a winner of the Best Practices Award in the large city category.

“It is an honor to be recognized by AWS as a leader in technology innovation,” said Mila Kofman, J.D., Executive Director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority. “By building a customer friendly, cloud-based online health insurance marketplace, we created a cost-effective, reusable technology solution. This innovation has not only enabled us to enter into the first state-based marketplace partnership in the nation with the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business, but we are also able to cut costs as we add new features that improve the experience of our small business and individual consumers here in the District of Columbia.”

By awarding DCHBX its Best Practices Award, AWS is recognizing DCHBX’s successful shared services model. In February 2017, DCHBX and the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business entered into the first, and still the only, state-based marketplace partnership in the nation. DCHBX used its small business health insurance marketplace IT solution to replace an older, more expensive solution for the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business. This partnership means that DCHBX and the Massachusetts Health Connector for Business share IT and operational costs for the on-line health insurance marketplace for small businesses. By sharing IT operational and development costs, both have saved millions of dollars.

Background

In 2015, DCHBX moved to a cloud-based, open-source software using agile development. DCHBX can add new features without taking the web-site off line, and during deployments customers can continue to use the site, seeing new features next time they log-in. DCHBX is saving approximately $1.8 million annually from the switch to AWS from a traditional data center.

In 2016, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (DCHBX) was recognized for innovation in technology when it was named a winner of the Best Practices Award by Amazon Web Services for the City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge. In 2017, AWS chose DCHBX for a case study highlighting DCHBX’s innovative use of AWS’ technology as the first state-based health insurance marketplace to operate in the cloud.

DCHBX is responsible for DC Health Link, the on-line health insurance marketplace in the District of Columbia for small businesses and residents. There are 151 health plans available for small businesses from three United Health companies, two Aetna companies, Kaiser, and CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. There are 26 health plans available for individuals from Kaiser and CareFirst.