Interest in Health Insurance Exchanges Grows

A recent health plan study by J.D. Power & Associates illustates that people are open to shopping on a healthcare exchange if they had the opportunity.  The study results included both individuals searching for coverage and those in an employer-sponsored plan.

The study included inquiry on state-based and private-held exchanges, with participants indicating they are open to both.  Those covered by an employer-sponsored plan indicated (40%) that they would also shop on an exchange if it were available.

This acceptance is a positive indicator to the exchanges being adapted into the current employer environment as Health Reform takes hold.  Will employees accept, understand, and be comfortable with the changes that must be enacted by their employer in response to mandates under PPACA?  As all the “experts” in the healthcare industry agree, as well as the Federal GAO, reform will mean added costs in the early implemntation years.

The study also touched-on the willingness of employees to favor a private healthcare exchange in which an employer would offer “vouchers” to each employee to shop on the exchange for the most appropriate plan based on that employees needs.  Forty-one percent  (41%) indicated that they would use this approach if it were made available.

As healthcare costs have been on the rise, this has translated to increased costs for both the employer and their employees.  Healthcare reform will be no different in driving costs up to be passed-on to employees.  Will the exchanges help defray costs and offer cost-saving alternatives to a percentage of employees that cannot absorb any additional costs?   Time will tell…

About Vince C

Vincent Cerilli has been directly involved with the healthcare industry for over 25 years. For the past 10 years he has focused on the senior market in an advisory and consulting role to employers and seniors regarding their Medicare coverage and supporting healthcare plan needs.
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