Connector Board Reviews CommCare Member Survey, Affordability Schedule, and Small Business Wellness Initiative

The Connector Board met today to discuss results of the CommCare member survey; vote on the 2011 Affordability Schedule, and vote on the contract with a vendor to run the small business wellness initiative (download materials from the meeting).


Commonwealth Care Member Survey

Stephanie Chrobak of the Connector staff presented results of the CommCare member survey (pdf).

The survey was conducted by phone and email between mid-October through November 2010. The overall survey response rate was 40%. The survey results show a very favorable member experience in the CommCare program.

Here are some highlights:

  • 84% of members are satisfied with CommCare; satisfaction rankings were high (80% +) across all plan types
  • Choice of health plans, quality of care, and broad range of services covered by plan were the top three drivers of satisfaction
  • 68% of respondents reported they have a good understanding of their insurance
  • 80% reported they were able to pay their medical bills and/or did not experience any problems paying
  • In the past 12 months, or since joining CommCare:
  • 81% or respondents have a usual source of care with a physician, clinic or health center and 81% visited a general doctor
  • Very few respondents said they postponed or did not get needed care
  • Some respondents had problems scheduling doctor visits; among these members, 42% cited problems trying to see a general doctor, and 28% had problems trying to see a specialist
  • While two-thirds of respondents have not visited the ER since joining CommCare, 39% of those who have visited the ER could have been treated by a regular doctor if one were available
  • 85% of respondents thought the application process was very or somewhat easy
  • 20% of respondents lost coverage at least once since joining CommCare
  • 59% of respondents contacted CommCare customer services since becoming a members; of those, a vast majority had favorable experiences with customer service
  • A majority of respondents find the member materials and communications helpful
  • 74% of respondents have access to the Internet; of those, 52% have visited the CommCare website
  • While the survey showed that members are mostly satisfied with CommCare, Chrobak cited areas for improvement. CommCare staff will work to clarify plan benefit materials, increase understanding of the renewal process among members, and improve the website. In the long term, they will work to address the concerns around ER use and difficulties accessing doctors.

    Many Board members requested that CommCare staff provide data broken out by plan type; plan (MCO); and health status. Board members also requested comparisons of the CommCare survey results to those in the commercial/employer-sponsored insurance market. Chrobak responded that CommCare staff will be sending Board members a more detailed report that breaks out a lot of this information.

    Affordability Schedule
    Connector staffer Kaitlyn Kenney reviewed the proposed Affordability Schedule for 2011, which is unchanged from the 2010 schedule, with the exception of adjustments made for changes in the federal poverty guidelines. The Connector only received comments from the ACT!! Coalition. ACT!! supports the proposed 2011 schedule (our comments(pdf)) . The Board voted unanimously to adopt the proposed 2011 Affordability Schedule.

    Small Business Wellness Initiative
    Scott Devonshire presented the Connector staff’s recommendation of a vendor for their small business wellness initiative, which is a requirement in Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010. The Connector will offer a 5% premium subsidy for small businesses that successfully participate in the program.

    To qualify, businesses must:

    • Purchase small group health coverage through the Connector
    • Be eligible for federal health care tax credits through the Affordable Care Act (have fewer than 25 FTE’s, average employer salary less than $50,000, and employers contribute 50% of employee’s premium)
    • Offer evidence-based employee wellness program that meets certain minimum criteria and employee participation, as defined by the Department of Public Health.

    The Connector’s vision for the wellness initiative is a primarily web-based program that offers literature and resources on healthy living. While the information will initially only be offered in English, the Connector will work with the vendor to explore translation of materials into other languages.

    After a procurement process with six bidders, the Connector chose PayFlex as their vendor for the wellness initiative. According to Devonshire, PayFlex scored highest on the service metric. PayFlex subcontracts with Live Healthier. Dolores Mitchell expressed concerns about contracting with a company that subcontracts with another company, as opposed to contracting with Live Healthier itself. She encouraged the Connector to look closely at the relationship between PayFlex and Live Healthier.

    Nancy Turnbull and Jon Gruber also encouraged the Connector to evaluate the program to make sure it is worth the investment. Turnbull suggested partnering with outside funders to evaluate the wellness initiative. With that, the Board voted to accept the contract with PayFlex, which will run from March 18, 2011 through June 30, 2012, with an option of up three one-year extensions thereafter.

    The next Connector Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 14 from 9:00-11:00am at One Ashburton Place, 21st floor.
    -Suzanne Curry

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