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Insurance Exchanges Will Offer More Benefits, And More Complexity

03/14/13

  02:08:30 pm, by MedBen5   , 279 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Insurance Exchanges Will Offer More Benefits, And More Complexity

Coming on the heels of news about the complex application for federal health insurance comes this headline from NBC News: “Health insurance exchanges: Be ready to be overwhelmed“. The article lists four things people can expect from the new exchanges, summarized below:

1. They will offer lots of choices. The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies selling policies on the exchanges to offer at least four levels of coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. As the names imply, they go from bare-bones coverage to the full works. This means they’ll be complicated.

2. They may offer far more coverage than you have now. The 2010 heath reform law requires insurers to meet a minimum standard of coverage. So insurance provided on the exchanges is likely to provide far more coverage than what people can buy themselves on what’s called the non-group market.

3. This does, however, mean that some people who now have health insurance may end up paying more. “That benefit package is broader than what most people are buying today. While most people will get more comprehensive coverage, it’ll cost more,” says Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans.

4. There’s no way to know now what a plan would cost you on an exchange. Insurance companies will have to adjust their premiums based on how many people sign up. “There is broad agreement that for all these reforms to work you need broad participation,” Zirkelbach says.

“If the only people who take part are those who are older and who have high health care costs, then it is going to be unaffordable for everybody,” he added. “Young, healthy people need to join the insurance pool.”

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