Voluntary product strategists expect the rise of the public exchanges and the expansion of private exchanges to create big new sales opportunities.
When Eastbridge Consulting conducted a voluntary market player survey earlier this year, it found that 70 percent expect PPACA to help increase voluntary product sales.
One factor: Traditional health insurance brokers are thinking a lot harder about diversification.
Sun Life Financial — a company working its way into the voluntary market — hosted an exchange launch webcast Tuesday.
Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the modern U.S. health exchange programs, flat out told brokers watching they might have to cope with falling major medical commissions by selling more advice – and by selling other, related products.
Another factor: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encourages designers of Small Business Health Options Program exchange plans to set high deductibles and high annual out-of-pocket maximums.
Many exchange plans have an annual family cap of $12,000.
The SHOP market might attract just a small percentage of small employers. The new PPACA rules will have almost no direct effect on large, self-insured employers. But the large employers already are moving toward increasing deductibles. If and when the new PPACA Cadillac plan tax on high-value coverage kicks in, that could accelerate the trend.