A panel at MNsure, Minnesota’s state-based public health insurance exchange, says the exchange should look into the idea of selling non-medical products.

Customers in Minnesota’s individual and small-group markets may have an unmet demand for products such as long-term care insurance (LTCI), mental health insurance, chronic condition programs, and wellness programs or software applications, the panel says in a slidedeck.

PPACA and federal regulators strongly encourages to offer stand-alone dental coverage and permit exchanges to form alliances with organizations that sell other products.

The panel, the MNsure Market Development Work Group, presented the slidedeck Thursday at a board meeting. The members of the work group include Brian Beutner, the chair of the MNsure board; Dr. Kathryn Duevel, a medical doctor; and Thompson Aderinkomi, a consumer representative.

The work group held two dozen meetings with about 100 individuals to look into ways to improve the exchange for the 2016 open enrollment period and beyond.

MNsure had trouble meeting private qualified health plan (QHP) sales goals during the second Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) open enrollment, which officially started Nov. 15, 2014, and ended Feb. 15.

See also: 3 ways the PPACA exchange picture has changed and Minnesota PPACA exchange loses dominant carrier

A Republican in the state House has proposed having Minnesota dump the MNsure enrollment system and use HealthCare.gov, a system developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for the 2016 open enrollment period. But Minnesota has a Democratic governor and a state senate controlled by Democrats, and they have been strong MNsure supporters.

But members of the work group said the idea of adding non-medical insurance products was one idea that stood out and requires more exploration and research.

The work group also had some other ideas that could affect the long-term care (LTC) planning market.

The work group says MNsure should publish priorities for product innovation and provide special designations for innovative QHPs sold through MNsure.

An innovative QHP could make coverage of an end-of-life care planning visit part of the basic essential health benefits package, the work group says.

MNsure could also set hospice benefits standards for QHPs and encourage carriers to offer plans designed to meet the needs of people with chronic conditions, the work group says.

In the past, managers of the state-based Connect for Health Colorado exchange have also talked about generating revenue through alliances with sellers of non-medical insurance products.

See also: Feds: Exchanges can set up life, disability alliances