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Massachusetts Health Connector


The Massachusetts Health Connector was struggling to grow its Small Business Health Options Program due to old technology and lack of economical technology options available in the market.


IdeaCrew successfully implemented its fully configured SHOP platform including Broker, Employer, Employee and Admin portals in 5 months, and enrollments have almost doubled.

IdeaCrew has provided health benefit and marketplace solutions to the Massachusetts Health Connector since 2017. The Connector, launched in 2007, was the first health insurance exchange in the nation and became the model for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in reducing the number of individuals without health insurance. While Massachusetts focused on the individual market, achieving the lowest uninsured rate in the country, growth in small group membership through the Connector remained flat. Growth was flat despite the Connector introducing plan choice, partnering with brokers and introducing innovative discounts through health and wellness programs for employers. The Connector lacked the modern technology private exchanges had to make enrollment easier for brokers, employers and their members. To make matters worse there did not appear to be many economical technology options supporting the small group market.

After two failed procurements the Connector looked at the technology being used in the District of Columbia, the most successful small business health options (SHOP) program being operated in the country. IdeaCrew engaged both Massachusetts and D.C. Health Benefit Exchanges to launch a state partnership enabling the Connector to share the small business platform and call center.

This successful implementation including carrier and broker onboarding resulted in immediate growth. Since its relaunch Massachusetts SHOP was the fastest growing in the country> Membership has increased 90% from 4,500 to over 8,000 members in two years. In a customer survey, 88% of Massachusetts employers would recommend IdeaCrew’s platform to others. The shared services model has resulted in significant financial savings for both Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Ongoing operations and maintenance costs are divided between the two states based on percentage of enrollment resulting in further cost savings. We are extremely proud to be part of the Massachusetts Connector’s success to date and plans for future growth.

Membership in SHOP programs has increased almost 30% since go-live, growing from approximately 6,000 to over 7,800 members as of February 2020, and the option for choice is welcome. In 2019, 59% of new members enrolled in a choice model, while 37% of total members are now in a choice model. The IdeaCrew platform features and its ease of use have allowed the Health Connector for Business program to flourish.

— Louis Gutierrez, CCA Executive Director

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