Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Hawaiian Health Insurance Exchange Seeks State-of-the-Art Contact Center Partner

March 14, 2013

When the Affordable Care Act was declared constitutional last summer, President Barack Obama’s home state of Hawaii became the first state to apply to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to create a state-based health insurance exchange.

Act 205 had already established the Hawaii Health Connector in 2011. The state had required mandatory employer healthcare coverage since 1974.

Earlier this week, the Connector issued a request for proposals (RFP) to find a partner to provide contact center services. According to Executive Director Coral Andrews, the quasi-governmental organization wants a customer service center to help reach Hawaii’s uninsured and underinsured small businesses.

“The Connector’s goal is to provide Hawaii residents with high quality customer service,” said Andrews. “Our brand is built upon being of Hawai‘i, for Hawaii, and a major component of that is being a trusted community resource.”

Interested candidates will have to submit a Notification of Intent by March 20. Proposals will be due on April 5.

“Vendors need to be able to meet the needs of Hawaii residents, and provide the right level of information and individualized assistance that empowers consumers to make decisions about the purchase of health insurance plans through the Connector,” Andrews added.

As states begin to implement the Affordable Care Act and establish insurance exchanges, many companies are reaching out to offer contact center solutions. Dell, Microsoft and DialAmerica are a few companies who have already started to advertise their ability to help exchanges set up customer service portals.

If Andrews wants a call center vendor that understands Hawaiian business, she won’t have to look any further than the capitol city of Honolulu, which houses call centers for companies like AT&T and Xerox.

Operating call centers in Honolulu gives companies access to a pool of American English speakers at wages slightly lower than those on the mainland. Also, locating a call center in Hawaii enables companies to provide their customers with 24/7 access.

For example, AT&T’s New Jersey call center handles one portion of the day, while the Honolulu center takes the rest.

Edited by Braden Becker