One of the obvious problems with the current version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange system is that it turns respectable, well-meaning government officials into hucksters.
Public agencies and consumer groups that would normally be flooding the Internet with press release and comment letters complaining about genuine, painful (but hard to fix) problems with commercial health coverage instead flood the Web with press releases, blog entries and tweets urging consumers to buy…coverage that might not be that great for them.
Maybe some young, healthy consumers would really be better off going through medical underwriting and getting temporary health insurance. Many high-income people at all income levels would be wise to compare off-exchange, PPACA-compliant major medical policies with the exchange qualified health plans (QHPs).
But are regulators in the states with state-based exchanges doing much to speak up for the idea of looking at off-exchange and non-PPACA options? Not as far as I can see.
Similarly: Exchange managers are talking a lot about the idea that consumers should visit their states’ public exchange enrollment sites during the second annual PPACA major medical open enrollment period, rather than simply letting their coverage renew automatically, and look to see if they could cut their premiums by switching exchange QHPs.
It seems as if the officials making these statements usually squeeze in half a phrase about “finding a plan that meets your needs,” but the dominant message is, “Cut your monthly premiums! Who cares about anything else, bozos!”
Officials in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by proposing that HHS automatically shift consumers who fail to make a conscious plan renewal choice into the cheapest plan in a given metal level.