State Based Marketplaces

Solutions for

State Based Marketplaces

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For over 40 years Checkbook has developed and delivered plan comparison tools for organizations including Federal Agencies, State Based Marketplaces under the ACA, Private Exchanges, and others.

What Makes Us Different

Our focus is on what the data means for the consumer, not just the specific terms laid out in a particular plan. We take the point of the consumer and walk through the process of understanding and choosing a plan. Many others focus on software delivery and project management, resulting in user interfaces that display reams of data, with little regard for consumers’ goals or their level of understanding.  

This makes us obsessive about verifying and correcting data – we often discover and report back detailed plan information errors to our marketplace partners and the associated insurers. These error reports include information on benefits and other plan attributes that don’t make sense or don’t match other plan documents. 

We apply similar scrutiny to data on doctors and drugs. We merge, scrub, and apply validation filters in our provider and formulary data processes. These steps ensure that doctor and drug records are universally identified across multiple insurer networks and formularies, enabling the powerful provider and formulary information components of our tools. 

In our free time, we also advocate for changes to the systems for collecting these data to improve their accuracy and utility to consumers.

Components of our Tools

Our tools comprise a range of functionality available as an all-in-one package or as optional modules, including: 

Subsidy & Program Eligibility Estimation 

• APTC, CSR, EHB Ratio, FPL, CSR, AIAN, CHIP, and Medicaid 

• Out of Pocket Estimates

• Provider Lookup 

• Formulary Lookup 

• Plan Attribute Highlights 

• Detailed Comparison of Plan Benefits & Cost-Sharing 

• Employers – Compare financial impact to Employers and Employees financial impact of different coverage options including Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), Small-Group coverage, and Individuals & Families Marketplace coverage.  

Delivery Options

Our plan-comparison tools are all web-based and include high-availability hosting.  We offer a number of ways to work with clients, from turnkey anonymous window shopping (i.e. clients do nothing but provide or review insurers’ data) all the way to full integration with your enrollment platform. 

For partners who want to leverage our tools beyond anonymous shopping, we offer multiple integration options. We have successfully integrated with multiple third-party solutions, and are expert at receiving and delivering information through a range of relevant APIs.  We can leverage existing APIs, or provide our own customizable APIs, for receiving health plan data and/or consumer profile data as well as subsidy/program eligibility, and can integrate with nearly any API for returning information about consumers’ choices. 

Our Delivery Capabilities

Checkbook’s excellent track record of on-time delivery, high availability, and data accuracy is a critical asset to our partners and their constituents. Our deep experience in this space prepared us to handle last-minute changes, including plan availability, data resubmissions, and modifications to eligibility rules. 

As described above, our organization has a unique combination of technology expertise and subject matter expertise in consumer experience of insurance shopping.  Our obsessive focus on giving consumers accurate and meaningful information means that we provide timely validation and correction of data supplied by insurers as part of delivering our tools.  We also are conversant with many types and formats of data including plans and benefits, provider networks, formularies, health plan quality, provider quality, claims denials.  We can integrate these data sources into our tools or use them as supplemental sources for cross-checking and validation. 

Because we work from the perspective of consumers shopping for a plan, we have experienced firsthand the friction and frustration of trying to answer many specific questions about health plans.  We continually try novel approaches to presenting complex information about insurance to consumers in a way that they can relate to and use, while striving to reduce the amount of knowledge and experience about the wildly complex needed to successfully navigate plan choice.   Learn more about our ongoing work in this area here. 

Awards and Features

Our work has made us a recognized leader in data transparency and UX design around health plan shopping, and we’re product to have received many awards and accolades: 

• Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHQ) top ranked health insurance exchange website: DC Health Link web site ranked as the #1 ACA exchange website in (2018-2020), based on the Checkbook decision support tools integrated into the DC Health Link platform.

•  First Place Award – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Plan Choice Challenge (2015) 

•  First Place Award – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Network Challenge

•  Our tool has been discussed very positively in articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press (AP) and on NPR’s Morning Edition.


Over the last decade, we’ve helped nearly every state-based marketplace develop and improve their consumer shopping experience. 

Previous Partners

See Our Tools In Action

Here are some anonymous plan comparison tools that we’ve deployed for various state based marketplaces – try them for yourself! 

Individual Market Plan Comparison Tool

Employer HRA Tool

Small Group Market All Plan Provider Directory

Read about our previous work