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Will Health Insurance Exchanges Get Rebranded?

05/11/12

  12:12:35 pm, by MedBen5   , 208 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management

Will Health Insurance Exchanges Get Rebranded?

As we note the latest health care reform news on this blog, we often use the phrase “health insurance exchange” to describe a government-run place where individuals and small businesses can compare and purchase health care plans. Little did we realize, however, that its use may be confusing prospective consumers.

According to Kaiser Health News, Medicare officials would like to see a change in phraseology going forward. “We are recommending not using the word ‘exchange’” in enrollment materials, said Julie Bataille, director of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of Communications. The word, she observed, gives the impression that consumers may have to swap something.

So noted. But what does CMS suggest we use in its place? While no definite substitutes were recommended, Bataille did add that “[w]ords like ‘marketplace’ resonate much more with the consumer and also tend to be something that is all inclusive.”

But really, is “marketplace” any better? It sounds rather antiquated to our ears, like a gathering of ancient Greeks selling goods from pushcarts. Perhaps “health insurance boutique” or “health insurance shopping district” instead? We shall see… and anyway, Bataille said that CMS plans to get public feedback on whether to use the word “exchange” before making any changes.

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