Individual and Small Group Health Insurance Market Data for Health Plans, Hospital Accountable Care Organizations and Industry Analysts

An Overview of The Insurance Exchange

The insurance exchanges have been created as part of President Obama’s health care reform bill, to help American citizens obtain affordable healthcare. The Exchanges present state-regulated and standardized healthcare plans offered by insurance carriers allowing individuals to opt-in to individual health insurance that has met oversight rules imposed by the govt. The Insurance Exchanges are envisioned to fulfill the vision of providing consumer protection and oversight while making sure that hospitals remain cost-effective rather than abusing their privilege. While health insurance exchanges are a contentious issue, they have been put into action recently under the direction of Obama’s staff and other relevant agencies.

Early Stages of The Insurance Exchanges

The first models for health insurance exchanges were already in operation when President Obama ushered the healthcare reform bill into law. Even though insurance exchanges were relatively young, many government officials felt that the system had merit and could be brought on a larger scale in the United States. As a result of the debate in the House and Senate, the health insurance exchanges became state initiatives allowing each state to create their own Exchange. States could choose to partner and create regional Exchanges, create their own health insurance exchange or do nothing and have their state Exchange managed by the Federal govt..

There have been some success stories within the United States since inception of the Insurance Exchanges. One of the most famous is a New York based non-profit health insurance exchange called HealthPass, which has made tremendous strides. They have helped provide a model of what kind of protections can be offered to those who buy-in while allowing price protection at the same time.

The Insurance Exchange – An Enabler of Higher Quality Healthcare

The health insurance exchange goal is to help individuals and small businesses obtain health insurance that meets standardized requirements for price and benefits and drive quality into the healthcare by expanding the risk pool. This increases the bargaining power of the pool and theoretically allows the pool to access higher quality care. social scientists, such as Washington Post writer Ezra Klein, have said that the health insurance exchange is one of the most important aspects of the new healthcare reform movement. The low quality of care is due to a lack of bargaining, and the Exchanges seek to change all that.

In the United States many large and small companies provide employees with health insurance options. The company’s ability to bargain, related closely to its size, provides collective group purchasing advantages for employees. Unfortunately, choice is limited and the best insurance option choice for the group takes precedence over each individual. Health plan options are often limited and do not meets the needs of specific individuals.

The Insurance Exchanges are envisioned to help the problem of price and choice by representing a large group of individuals and thus opening up the size risk pool and lowering rates. In theory, this enables individuals to obtain higher quality care than they would typically have access to on their own and benefit from the collective bargaining price benefits that usually only come with group insurance.

The new reform efforts are envisioned ,to allow American citizens to obtain high quality healthcare that they have needed for many years. While these Exchanges are currently in the early stages of development, they have shown a promising beginning that may indeed help many citizens in the country who are unable to provide themselves and their family with good quality healthcare.

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