I’m starting to try to figure out how to cover how the various new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act programs affect use of health care, and it hit me that one important point is that it’s important to try to watch all of the claim data balls, not just the bright shiny object consisting of private exchange plan data.
On the one hand, the PPACA health insurance exchange plan “qualified health plans” are fun to follow because they are extremely concrete. They’re a new product.
They’re interesting to anyone into government health programs because government agencies set up them up and in many cases directly run them.
They’re interesting to people into commercial health insurance, because commercial health insurers write the exchange QHP coverage and, in most cases, commercial agents and brokers can sell the exchange QHP coverage, the same way they’d sell disability insurance or travel insurance.
We can collectively holler at various government agencies when they fail to report on what’s going on at the exchange QHPs as quickly or as comprehensively as we would like.
But, on the other hand, even in PPACA World, exchange QHPs are still just a small, weird part of the commercial health insurance market.
Plenty of people will have commercial group or individual coverage written before PPACA took full effect for months, or years, to come.