Insurers Gear Up to Attract Obamacare Customers

Monday, 06 May 2013 01:31 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Health insurers are gearing up for campaigns this fall and summer to attract skeptical clients to register for coverage under Obamacare, even though they fear the costs of signing up too many already-ill people when the federal law goes into effect.

"I don’t think I know anyone in the insurance industry that supported the Affordable Care Act," insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski, a former insurance executive, told Politico. "But Obama’s right, we’re joined at the hip now."

Obamacare's insurance exchanges could potentially mean millions of new customers for health plans, as tax credits will help them pay for their insurance. But if enrollment in October is too confusing and only the very ill sign up, insurers could be left to foot large bills without being able to spread the cost.

According to polls, many Americans either remain confused or oppose Obamacare, and insurers say they will do what they can to get their message out.

Insurers are starting to spread the word to existing and potential new customers, and will vary it depending on whether the customer's state is handling the insurance exchange, or if they are allowing the federal government to do it. In addition, not all insurers will operate in every state.

But as the enrollments start on Oct. 1, the government and insurers alike will need to battle many challenges when it comes to helping the public sort out options, including convincing those who are adamantly opposed to the new health care law.

"The insurance industry has not been historically one of the best for communicating easily or efficiently with the public," CIGNA spokesman Joe Mondy said.

"Neither has the government, for that matter. That’s a goal for both."

The health plans will have bronze, silver, or gold member benefit levels, mandated by the government, so insurers will need to compete in terms of price, reputation, and benefits.

Insurers will likely be aggressive, said Joel Ario, a managing director of Manatt Health Solutions and former director of the Health and Human Services Office of Insurance Exchanges. He said most people tend to stick with the same insurer, and it's not easy to get them to change their minds.

And the public may not respond to the new rules quickly.

"I think the people that will join will largely be low-income subsidy people, who have an opportunity to get healthcare at a very affordable rate that they otherwise would not have gotten," said Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini.

Price will also be an obstacle, as both Obamacare supporters and opponents agree that rates will likely climb for many Americans, even though they'll be offset in party subsidies.

The government will also join in the education effort this summer, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, including an effort on how to sign up for the exchanges and Medicaid expansion.

Enroll America, a nonprofit supported by Obama’s Organizing for Action, is aggressively lobbying insurers to help educate the public.

"There is a very intensive effort taking place now to try to increase the commitment of the insurers about helping with the overall enrollment process," said Ron Pollack, founding board chairman of Enroll America. "That includes making financial contributions to Enroll America.”


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Polls: Gardner Leads Incumbent Udall in Colo. Senate Race

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 09:21 AM

In several recent polls, Sen. Mark Udall continues to trail his Republican challenger, Cory Gardner, as the Colorado Sen . . .

Report: Official Autopsy Supports Officer in Ferguson Shooting

Wednesday, 22 Oct 2014 12:10 PM

Slain Ferguson teen Michael Brown was shot in the hand at close range, an official county autopsy report obtained by the . . .

Takata Air Bag Recall Affects 7.8M Vehicles

Thursday, 23 Oct 2014 08:15 AM

The U.S. government is now urging owners of nearly 8 million cars and trucks to have the air bags repaired because of po . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved