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Oracle has announced a health insurance exchange (HIX) platform that aligns several of its existing applications to allow states to create a marketplace for purchasing health insurance.

Under the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), states must establish health insurance exchanges by 2014.

"The impending rollout of health insurance exchanges will require state governments to establish state-regulated and standardized health care plans, from which individuals may purchase health insurance that is eligible for federal subsidies," Mark Johnson, senior vice president for Oracle’s public sector, said in a statement.

The HIX will enable citizens and small employers to determine eligibility for health plan subsidies, according to Oracle.

The platform, announced on Sept. 26, conforms to guidelines by the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on integrated IT systems.

The HIX’s rules engine allows states to meet federal rules on eligibility and provide capabilities to accept patient applications, Kevin Curry, Oracle’s group vice president, public sector, told eWEEK.

Oracle designed the platform to support multiple programs to allow states to deploy HIXs quickly and cost-efficiently, the company reports. Oracle will phase in additional applications as legislation changes dictate.

"To help address the challenges state governments will face related to these requirements, Oracle offers a robust solution which consists of proven technologies that are architected to work together and include the necessary capabilities needed to deliver a successful program," Johnson said.

The foundation of the HIX platform includes Fusion Middleware, particularly the Oracle SOA Suite. Fusion is a leading application infrastructure platform.

The service-oriented architecture suite features hot-pluggable software and the ability to reuse existing application development tools to reduce development and maintenance costs. The suite provides end-to-end security and unified metadata management.

As state governments roll out the insurance exchange, it will allow for companies to broker insurance plans, manage the details of plans, measure eligibility and automate enrollment. In addition, the platform will allow insurers to collect premiums, provide customer service, and keep track of tax credits and payment processing.

The HIX also helps states manage reporting of financial details to the government.

Siebel customer relationship applications provide states with the infrastructure to operate multichannel customer service and include analytics tools for evaluating calls. Siebel also handles case management for the exchange, Curry said.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Oracle Platform Helps States Support Health Insurance Exchanges