Exchanges Offer More Than Just a Product under ACA

The healthcare provision of online exchanges as part of the ACA is the next big step (hurdle, for some) in the gradual roll-out of legislation that has and will continue to transform the way healthcare is delivered in this country. Not since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid legislation in the mid 20th century has nearly every sector of the economic marketplace been affected. Here in Minnesota, after debate that was probably more contentious than expected, the provision allowing the state to create its own exchange has finally come to fruition. Along with its pending arrival (sometime this fall) will be some anxiety on the part of paitent advocates as to how to educated healthcare consumers to use this provision of the reform law.

The MNsure exchange will launch on Oct. 1, allowing people using a website or phone call to make apples-to-apples comparisons among plans. Traditional insurance brokers as well as certified “navigators” working at county offices and community service centers also will be able to guide citizens through the process.

MNsure, as you can see, is the name of the state’s marketplace. True to form, Minnesota appears not to wasting any time in getting the word out about its debut and necessity for many for whom the reform law was created. Insurers, on the other hand, will have to get some offering to the state if they wish to participate. Complaints from many plans mainly have to do with the small amount of time with which to formulate products to sell in the online exchange. This doesn’t even include small businesses which have the option of using exchanges to find whole plans for employees, or waiving this move in favor promoting individual plans — if it saves them money.

The new reality of healthcare delivery — at least at this time — has more to do with a sellers market than with buyers’ remorse. But, it’s probably too soon to call this one. | LINK

26. March 2013 by Michael Douglas, MD, MBA
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