The Pros And Cons Of att retiree Health Exchanges
Att retiree health exchangeas they are officially known, are a important part of the federal health reforms. These Exchanges are online health insurance marketplaces. The policy sold through Exchange must adhere to all the norms set by People Protection Care Act. Initially, the Exchange would only be open to individuals and small firms looking for group coverage for their employees.
The Exchange will have the following main functions:
- Make the cheapest health plans accessible to the residents
- Provide transparently and authentic information about health plans and Exchanges
- Ensure that all plans are by the new federal health reforms
- Encourage healthy competition among the health insurance company that will lead to consumers getting the best value for their money
- Play a key role in the effective implementation of the individual Protection and Affordable Care Act
The biggest advantage of a health Insurance Exchange is the availability of the cheapest and the most authentic medical policies. However, the state-based online platforms will have other benefits too such as:
- The benefits are standardized, thus making it easier to compare across policies
- Provides information about and access to federal subsidies and government-sponsored plans
- Delinking policies from employment ensures that residents have coverage even when they are between jobs
- No need to do a background check as the authenticity of every plan and insurance company is verified by the Exchange.
- More choices and more flexibility in choices
- Nondenial to any application ensures that people with pre-existing medical condition also have access to health coverage
- Availability of cheap plans will guarantee that more and more residents have access to medical coverage
The state health Exchange is, however, is not without its drawbacks too. Here is a look at a possible few reasons that could prevent the Exchange from being as successful as it was meant to be:
- With too many options available, the residents may end up getting confused about the health plan to choose
- As there is no previous model to follow, building up an Exchange is a trial and error process
- The Exchange will be funded with federal grants and be administered by state authorities. It has to adhere to federal norms as well as state insurance regulations. Lack of coordination between the federal and the state government could lead to utter chaos in the effective functioning of the health Exchange
- Health Exchanges, by encouraging a direct interaction between the consumers and health insurance companies, have already ended antagonizing agents and brokers. If they are not seamlessly integrated into the functioning of the health Exchange, it will throw a lot of middlemen out of work.
The drawbacks of health Exchange are certain intrinsic flaws that can well be overcome if the Exchanges are managed effectively and efficiently. And going by the host of advantages that setting up of Exchanges will have, taking care of these shortcomings should not be much of a problem for the federal and state authorities.
Here is a look at how the Exchange will go about achieving these functions.
Promote choice and competition: The Exchange will encourage competition among the health insurance companies and thus more choices for the residents by allowing more and more companies to participate in the Exchange. Since the online platform will open the floodgates for the uninsured population, these companies will try to outdo each other by offering health plans at competitive rates. It is also mandated by the federal government that the companies will have to display their cheapest plan on the Exchange.
Provide information and promote transparency: All the information, definitions, marketing requirements, jargons, plan details have to be presented in a standardized and easy-to-understand format. Every health insurance Exchange should have a toll free 24*7 helpline to assist residents, navigators, agents, brokers and even insurance companies and to clarify any doubt they might have about the health plans and the Exchange itself. It is also the duty of the Exchange to make information available through other means to those who do not have access to the Internet. The Exchange, through the navigators, should also make the residents more aware of health insurance and the newly implemented federal reforms.
Ensure affordable coverage: The surest place to find the cheapest health plans is the state health insurance Exchange. Add to that the competitive pricing, and the residents will have access to some of the most affordable plans available. If a resident is eligible for government-sponsored insurance programs, then the Exchange will inform him about it. Residents and small firms buying health plans from the Exchange will be eligible for tax credits, which will further bring down the costs of their coverage. The tax credits will depend on several factors like the type of plan chosen, the number of members in the family, the annual income of the family and in the case of small firms, the size of the firm and the percentage of the premium it is paying on behalf of its employees.
Effective implementation of health reforms: The Exchange is expected to bring in more regulations in the health insurance sector. There are certain criteria insurance companies have to meet before they are eligible to be a part of the Exchange. They must spend a minimum of 80% of their premium dollars on providing health care. The cheapest plan of each company must be available on the Exchange. They cannot deny the application of residents with pre-existing conditions or charge them more. Access to health plan will be delinked from employment ensuring residents have medical coverage even when they are between jobs.
Att retiree health exchange is expected the change the way citizens look at their medical policies. It is anticipated that with the Exchanges coming up, purchasing health plans will be an easier and more pleasurable experience for the residents.