Two Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange program competitors say exchange publicity seems to be increasing interest in their own products and services.
Assurant Inc. (NYSE:AIZ) now sells individual and small-group health insurance, including medical insurance, limited-benefit policies and supplemental products, in the non-exchange market. The company is still thinking about whether to try to sell coverage through the exchanges in 2015 and in later years.
The other company, eHealth Inc. (Nasdaq:EHTH), has been running what amounts to its own private, for-profit health insurance exchange website for years. The company hopes to act as a Web broker for the federal government’s HealthCare.gov exchange enrollment system once HealthCare.gov managers have time to hook them up.
Robert Pollock, president of Assurant, said Thursday during his company’s third-quarter earnings call that the company thinks its decision to stay off the public exchanges was the right decision.
“We are seeing a lot of activity in all of our products, and sales continue to be robust,” Pollock said.
Individuals and small groups normally renew policies just 45 days before the effective date, but, this year, because of all of the concern about PPACA, many customers already are renewing 2014 coverage, Pollock said.
“We think that’s a result of us having our systems up and operating,” Pollock said.
Pollock declined to estimate how much the new PPACA restrictions on medical underwriting will affect premiums. He said Assurant expects to learn more about how claims costs will change over the next few months.