What Are the Insurance Companies' Views on the ACA?

Article

The for-profit insurance industry has a complicated relationship with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although the ACA promises millions of new customers and fees, it also places potentially burdensome new rules and requirements on the industry. The panelists look at cases where insurers have decided to jump into this new marketplace.

(Click the play button on the audio player above to listen to this segment of the ACA panel discussion)

This HCPLive audio panel discussion features:

  • Joel Zinberg MD, JD, Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
  • David Sandman PhD, Senior Vice President of the New York State Health Foundation
  • Patrick Cronin, New Jersey organizing director for “Get Covered America” a nonprofit with a federal contract to help people sign up for coverage
  • Tom Wilson (moderator), a partner at Kaufman Zita Group and former chairman of the NJ Republican State Committee

The panelists look at how well the ACA is working and discuss whether it is politically vulnerable.

The for-profit insurance industry has a complicated relationship with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Although the ACA promises millions of new customers and fees, it also places potentially burdensome new rules and requirements on the industry. The panelists look at cases where insurers have decided to jump into this new marketplace.

The financial success of health insurance exchanges depends on attracting young, healthy people whose premiums will underwrite the care of those who need it more. Zinberg thinks this is a bad deal for the young and healthy. Sandman says that is the way insurance works. Cronin says in his frontline experience, young people do want insurance and that his organization is actively pursuing their business because it is needed to keep premiums down and make the ACA successful.

Under the ACA’s individual mandate provision, many people face fines if they decline to sign up for coverage.

So far the threat of financial penalties for going uninsured has been a positive for the ACA

“The individual mandate lights a fire under people to go get insured” Cronin says.

But Zinberg wonders how long that will last. “Are the millennials, who voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, going to realize what they were sold?” Zinberg asks.

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