Ceridian Corp., a benefits administration firm, will be working with Microsoft Corp. to sell small business health insurance exchange systems to exchange program managers.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (2010) calls for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and state governments to work together to set up health insurance exchanges that will provide access to subsidized coverage for individuals and small groups.

A state can let several exchanges operate within its borders, set up one exchange, join a multi-state exchange consortium, or let the federal government provide exchange services for its residents.

Ceridian, Minneapolis, says it will work with Microsoft, Bellevue, Wash. (Nasdaq:MSFT), to market and sell exchange systems.

Ceridian notes that it has had experience with administering a small business exchange program in Florida.

The Ceridian-Microsoft alliance will combine Ceridian’s experience with customer service, payment processing, compliance and benefits administration with Microsoft’s technology and state government expertise, Ceridian and Microsoft say.

In Florida, Ceridian has been using the Microsoft BizTalk Server, the Microsoft SQL Server, the Microsoft .Net Framework and other Microsoft technologies to support that state’s exchange program, the companies say.

- Allison Bell

Other health insurance exchange coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: