A market research firm says some consumers in the District of Columbia are skeptical about the idea of insurance broker involvement in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange system.
“There is strong concern about the D.C. government being directly involved in running the exchange,” the analysts said. “[Participants] worry about efficiency and accountability.”
Many participants, especially lower-income people, “said they would like in-person help” with enrolling in exchange coverage, but “there is also some concern about having insurance brokers closely involved with the exchange,” the analysts said. “More so by individuals, but also among small business owners. There is a perception that they will give biased information.”
PPACA calls for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to work with local officials to make exchanges or Web-based health insurance supermarkets in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by Oct. 1, 2013. The law also is supposed to create new tax credits that will help moderate-income workers, and small employers with modestly paid employees, to buy health coverage.
Jurisdictions can choose whether to set up their own exchanges or let HHS do the job. The District of Columbia is setting up its own exchange.
The Perry Undem analysts based their findings on discussions with six focus groups that came together in May.