When the Affordable Care Act was being debated in Congress, most Americans yawned if they even bothered reading the bill's fine print—but technology entrepreneur Sanjay Singh's eyes opened wide when he downloaded the proposed legislation.
As he read the bill closely, one section of it drew Singh's attention. "It talked about individual state exchanges. It talked about a federal data hub," he said.
Now Singh's technology company hCentive is reaping a major windfall—helping build online health insurance exchanges for several states, enabling insurance companies to connect with all 51 government-run exchanges, and moving to exploit the new but potentially large private insurance exchange market.
Singh said the idea of insurance plans battling in an online market for millions of customers sounded like "Expedia for health care."
"How do you build an Expedia for health care?" the CEO of hCentive recalled thinking.
He knew it would require a technology platform, and since opening in 2009 with a handful of employees, Reston, Va.-based hCentive is on track to hire its 500th worker this year.
"The ACA—Obamacare as it has become known—has been the driving force for our inception and growth," said Singh. "If I were to guess, I would say we'd be at maybe 600 [employees] by the end of 2014," he said. The company expects to generate about $35 million in revenue next year.
(Read more: Ignorance of Obamacare threatens its success)
When Singh spoke to CNBC, he and his employees were scrambling to get a slew of work done before Oct. 1—the date when the Obamacare exchanges are set to begin enrolling people in insurance plans that take effect in January.
"Right outside my door there is a reverse counting clock," Singh said.
A married 46-year-old with two kids, Singh had experience with a technology-based start-up before founding hCentive.
He co-founded software services company GlobalLogic in 1999 "in my basement," Singh said.
Fourteen years later, GlobalLogic has more than 7,000 employees.
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