Notice of Request for Proposals

Contact: Kathleen Healey


[Notice issued November 15, 2010]

The Alabama Department of Insurance (DOI) hereby gives notice of the issuance of Requests for Proposals (RFP) for qualified respondents to provide the DOI with planning for Alabama’s Health Benefit Exchange. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires each state to establish an Exchange that performs a variety of functions, including offering residents of each state the means to compare information on available health benefit plans, enroll in plans and receive subsidies if eligible.

Contracts are contemplated to be awarded for nine (9) month term. Contract award dates are expected to be on or about February 1, 2011, through September 30, 2011. Responses to the RFP must be received not later than December 17, 2010, at 3:00 PM CST. Award of this RFP is expressly conditioned on the availability of grant funding. Potential respondents are cautioned to read the terms and conditions and specifications carefully.

Additional information is set forth in the attached files, each accessible in either Word or Adobe format, as indicated:

  • RFP for Planning for Alabama’s Health Benefit Exchange: Word | Adobe

The Disclosure Statement can be accessed from the Attorney General’s web site at the following address:

A PDF copy of the disclosure form is available here, however, the instructions to complete the form are only on the Attorney General’s web site. Adobe

For additional information, please send an E-Mail request to


1.  Will the selected Respondent for this RFP be allowed to bid on future RFP’s relating to the implementation and maintenance of the Alabama Health Benefit Exchange?

A:  Yes. Vendors participating in the planning stage of Alabama’s Exchange may also bid on any future RFPs for implementation and/or operation of the Exchange.

2.  Are there any specific requirements as to how the proposal should be bound (i.e. is a 3-ring binder acceptable)?

A: Binding is preferred in order to ensure the response is not separated or lost. A three ring binder is acceptable.

3.  The second paragraph references the planning grant funds and the Federal Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2011.  Does the State anticipate all work under this RFP to be completed by this date? 

A: Yes. According to the terms of the federal exchange planning grant, all funds must be spent by September 30, 2011. As a result, all tasks under this award must be completed by that date.

4. Please clarify the difference between “principal person” and “key personnel”.  This section requires a one-paragraph biography for each principal person. Is this synonymous with “key personnel” listed under question number 4 of this section?

A. No. The “principal person” is the individual tasked with primary responsibility assigned to the project. “Key staff” are those individuals, in addition to the principal person, who will participate in some manner on this project.

5.  In section 2.4.9, if a Respondent chooses not to bid on all sections of this RFP, does the State require the Respondent to explain how the un-bid sections will be addressed?  If so, can the State provide guidance as to the level of detail required for this explanation?

A. No. However, where specifically requested, Respondents should provide information about how coordination with other Respondents will occur, if necessary.

6. Will proposals for each task be evaluated separately, or will additional weight/scoring be awarded to bidders who bid on the entire project?

A. Additional weight will not be given to a Respondent who bids on the entire project.

7. Will the State provide guidance on the format of the Cost Proposal, or will any format be accepted provided that the required elements are addressed?

A. The State will not provide a format for the cost proposal.

8. What is the maximum award amount planned for this RFP?

A. Alabama’s total grant award was $1 million. At this time there is not an absolute defined contract maximum. However, Respondents should not assume that the full amount is available for the awarded contract(s). A portion of the total amount will be used for the State’s operational use as directly relating to this contract(s). In short, this remains to be determined.

9. The RFP states that “Current State strengths and resources should be leveraged…”   Can the State provide more detail as to those resources currently available, studies that have already been performed, and any other efforts related to Health Care Reform initiatives that are in process within the State at this time?

A. No. This will be part of the planning analysis.

10. Does the state have a working definition of “underinsured,” or will the State work with the selected bidder to define this population?

A. There is no established definition of “underinsured.” The Respondent and the state will work to define this term within the scope of work.

11. Reference is made to “current available data”.  Can the State provide additional detail regarding this data, including how it was obtained, by whom, and the date(s) it was collected?

A. No. This is anticipated to be part of the planning analysis.

12. Reference is made to “currently available data.”  Can the State provide additional detail regarding this data?

A. No. This is anticipated to be part of the planning analysis.

13. Are there any requirements as to the number of Cost proposals that should be included?  Should the Cost Proposal be sealed in a separate envelope, or included with the Scope of Work?

A. The Cost Proposal does not have to be separately bound and sealed.

14. How will each Phase of Evaluation be weighted?  Is each category of equal value in the scoring process (i.e.: is the cost proposal evaluated with the same weight as evaluation of references?)

A. The state is in the process of developing weighting factors for scoring bids. 

15. What type of award is anticipated for this work, e.g. firm fixed price, time and materials, labor hour, etc.?

A. Respondents should identify hourly rates and other costs as well as identify an anticipated total cost. All contracts will be awarded with a maximum amount identified.

16. In Part V, 5.1.1 Phases of the Evaluation, is it correct to assume that the 4 phases are equally weighted for evaluation purposes?  If not, please provide the relative weighting for each of the four phases. 

A. The state is in the process of developing the weighting factors for scoring bids.

17. In Part II, 2.4.8 Corporate Qualifications, “Bids shall include evidence of Respondent’s current or past experience in any of the areas of expertise identified as necessary in this Request for Proposal.”  Please clarify those areas of required expertise or point out where they are listed in the RFP.

A. The successful Respondent should provide sufficient information on qualifications of principals and key staff so the state can assess whether the Respondent is qualified to do the tasks outlined in the scope of work.

18.  In Part II, Acceptance of Terms, is it correct to assume that “Exhibit B” referred to is actually “Appendix B Customary Provisions for ALDOI Contracts” on p. 22 of the RFP? If so, is it correct to assume that no other standard contract terms will apply to the resultant contract? If this assumption is incorrect, please provide any such additional terms and conditions.

A. Final contract terms and conditions will be determined upon selection of a Respondent. The Customary Provisions in Appendix B are exemplary, not exhaustive.

19. Will responders who are not headquartered in the State of Alabama be able to bid some limited travel costs as part of their proposal for in-person meetings with DOI and other stakeholders?

A. Yes.

20. Will preference be given in the selection process for Alabama-based companies to complete this work?

A.  The state is in the process of developing the weighting factors for scoring bids.