The managers of the surviving state-based public health insurance exchanges continue to put one foot in front of the other, hoping the path firms up a bit in 2017.
Some of the exchange runners are moving ahead with efforts to sell products other than major medical coverage and stand-alone dental insurance.
A task force at Connect for Health Colorado (C4HCO), Colorado’s state-based exchange, is looking into setting up C4HCO Public Benefit Corp., a public benefit corporation that could sell vision insurance, life insurance, and supplemental health insurance products such as critical illness insurance and accident insurance.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) requires public exchanges that have been in business for more than a year to pay for their operations using a combination of grants, state-government money and exchange revenue.
C4HCO Public Benefit Corp. concept supporters say the ancillary benefits affiliate could bring in cash by selling consumers helpful personal protection insurance products.
The C4HCO board has published some documents related to the public benefit corporation effort online, including a description of the public benefit corporation charges and preliminary public benefit corporation financial projections.
For agents and brokers, the documents give a peek at how a business partner and potential competitor sees the ancillary business. For some points that might be of interest to producers, read on.
1. C4HCO is not the only exchange looking at the ancillary benefits market.
C4HCO now lets adults buy stand-alone dental coverage through its enrollment system without first buying qualifying health plan (QHP) major medical coverage.
Most other PPACA exchange programs do not sell stand-alone dental coverage to adults to adults who don’t buy QHP coverage, but Covered California recently announced that VSP Vision Care has started marketing stand-alone vision plans through a link on the Covered California enrollment website.
Covered California managers note that consumers can use the VSP link to buy vision plans all year round, without worrying about the PPACA open enrollment calendar.
Managers of the state-based exchange in Hawaii were talking about setting up an ancillary benefits program there before technical problems forced the exchange to begin using the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Care.gov enrollment system.
An advisory panel at MNsure, Minnesota’s state-based exchange, even talked in passing about the idea of finding a way to distribute long-term care insurance (LTCI).
See also: Could a PPACA exchange sell LTCI?
Clarification: An early version of this page gave an incompletedescription of public exchange dental plan sales. Most exchanges sell “stand-alone dental plans” to adults, but the adults have to buy QHP coverage to get access to the dental coverage.