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More health insurers getting into private exchanges

Health Care and Health Insurance
by Sergei Mordovin
Uninsurance rate continues to decline nationwide
Uninsurance rate continues to decline nationwide

While health insurance providers are still somewhat uncertain about ultimate fate of the insurance exchanges that will be run by state and federal governments, more are now seeing opportunity in private marketplaces that are also being developed. As such, those issuers who have not made such a decision may want to consider whether this type of move would likewise be beneficial to them in the near future.

In all, the companies that plan to run these private exchanges have seen major insurers flock to them ahead of the 2014 date by which the federal government plans to launch its own marketplaces, according to a report from Life Health Pro. This is largely because a number of polls show that many employers would consider enrolling in a private exchange as opposed to a public one in order to comply with the new federal mandate when they have 50 or more full-time employees.

The point of these exchanges is similar to the government's: To reduce healthcare costs by significantly broadening the base of people enrolled in the same plans, thereby lowering the per-person risk for insurance providers and consequently slashing costs for those participating in it. This may be particularly important because, in recent weeks, it was announced that the federal government's small business health insurance exchanges would not be fully set up for the 2014 date as originally planned. Instead, the date was pushed back for implementation by one year.

It was also reported that states running their own exchanges would not be required to have them set up until that same, revised 2015 start date; however, it's expected that at least some will have them ready to go as originally scheduled.

Due to the difficulties some of the government-based exchanges have had in setting up and spreading awareness of its individual exchanges, it would be wise for insurance issuers and companies that will be required to provide coverage for their workers to at least look into the many non-government options that may be available to them as a means of broadening their customer bases and cutting costs, respectively.

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