bswift, a leader in cloud-based technology and services for employee benefits and health exchanges, announced today that it has decided to discontinue its investment in the Avenue H marketplace (formerly called the Utah Health Exchange) for small businesses, effective in the late fall of 2013 after a transition of services.
“Four years ago, we entered into a pioneering venture with the State of Utah to create a consumer-centric, employer-financed marketplace,” stated bswift CEO Rich Gallun. “We invested considerable resources and efforts to launch this defined contribution approach to health insurance. bswift learned many lessons about small business exchanges and has enhanced our technology to support them, which positions us well for all kinds of private and public exchanges going forward. We have determined at this time of rapid growth for bswift to allocate our resources to other exchanges and business opportunities. Accordingly, we declined to submit a bid in Utah’s recent request for proposal for exchange technology.”
“bswift has been a pioneer of exchanges and a significant investor in the development of Avenue H,” said Patty Conner, Executive Director of Utah’s Office of Consumer Health Services, which oversees Avenue H. “We sincerely appreciate all they have done to get us to where we are today. We will miss bswift, but are confident that our growing marketplace will continue to experience success with a new technology partner to be announced next month.”
Don Garlitz, bswift Executive Director of Exchange Solutions and an author of the white paper that helped create the original vision for the Utah Health Exchange, commented, “We at bswift have put our heart into making Avenue H a success, and we are pleased with the growth the venture has afforded everyone involved. We wish Avenue H the best in the future and are working with their team to ensure a smooth transition.”
Based in Chicago, bswift offers software and services that streamline benefits, HR and payroll administration for employers and public and private exchanges nationwide. bswift’s state-of-the-art cloud-based technology and outsourcing solutions significantly reduce administrative costs and time-consuming paperwork, making life easier for administrators and millions of consumers who enroll in benefits with bswift.
About Avenue H
Avenue H is Utah’s marketplace for small group health insurance. It works by letting business owners contribute a set dollar amount that they can afford, rather than the 50 percent of premium that is standard in the traditional market. Employees then take that contribution and use it to shop for health care from one of three carriers: Regence BlueCross BlueShield, SelectHealth or UnitedHealthcare. Avenue H offers 140 plans among those carriers, including everything from high-deductible to full-coverage and everywhere in between. Utah companies with 2 to 50 employees can join Avenue H right now to control their costs while offering their employees increased choice and value.
Under an approach proposed by Governor Gary R. Herbert, the provisions of the Affordable Care Act will be split, making Avenue H the official state-based health insurance marketplace for small businesses, while the federal government will service the individual market.