Companies are starting to announce more alliances and ventures based on the premise that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) will be making big changes in the U.S. health insurance market.
Many companies have been talking about “private heath insurance exchange” programs — efforts to capitalize on the attention given to the new PPACA Web-based health insurance supermarkets by offering employers commercial systems that can give workers access to a menu of coverage options.
Many of the private exchange system companies have been talking about marketing the systems to large, self-funded employers. Some of the better-known systems are aimed primarily at big employers that are trying to get out of offering employer-paid retiree health benefits.
Now companies may be making more of an effort to offer commercial PPACA-exchange alternatives to small employers.
InsureX Solutions, for example, reported today that that more small businesses in its area — the region around Chicago — are thinking about using private exchanges.
Working with a private exchange might be a practical way for a small employer to give workers a fixed amount of benefits money and have the workers buy their own individual and family coverage, InsureX suggested.
PPACA drafters included the CO-OP program in the law to encourage people to set up nonprofit, member-owned health insurers. Some skeptics have questioned whether would-be CO-OP organizers will be able to get the plans to market by Oct. 1, when the PPACA exchanges are supposed to open, and Congress recently eliminated new CO-OP startup funding for organizers that have not yet received CO-OP startup funding commitments from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
SeeChange is a benefit plan administrator that has been emphasizing the use of “value-based” plan designs — benefit plan designs that try to encourage enrollees to spend freely on important, health-improving, money-saving care and avoid unnecessary and unnecessarily expensive care.