Exchanges: Re-inventing the Wheel — along with smaller websites providing similar services — is, in virtually all respects, an existing healthcare exchange and has operated as such for long before the Affordable Care Act introduced the concept of the health insurance exchange into the vernacular of national health care policy…

[Yet] while states such as California and Maryland had initially indicated that they would move forward in a relationship with — the largest privately run health insurance exchange in the nation — these states have recently backed off their commitment to bring the web-based company into the mix right from the start, suggesting instead that they might permit eHealth to participate in “a year or so.”

…by failing to include companies like, the state exchanges are dramatically increasing the odds that the first year of ObamaCare may be less successful than it could be were they to open up to the participation of the private sector.

Whatever the reason for the reluctance of the state created exchanges to include private business participants, the end result is that taxpayers will spend millions of dollars unnecessarily while fewer people are likely to be enrolled in qualified health insurance programs — and that is just wrong.

Rick Ungar at Forbes.

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Dalton says:

    I learned a bit more about the ACA:

    “a navigator will be paid $58 for each potential customer they bring to a state exchange”

  2. August says:

    He asks a lot of rhetorical questions which I could do without, but some good information. Example:

    “ claims that it has offered to refer customers who reach out for qualified coverage via their website to the state exchanges at no cost to the state or the customer”

    • Jackie says:

      It seems like a no brainer for the government to embrace the help of companies like ehealthinsurance with open arms, because that could definitely pay off.

  3. Craig says:

    Interesting post, I definitely agree. If the states do not include private insurance companies they are doomed to fail even worse than they already would have.

    • Nigel says:

      Why would not including private companies give the ACA an increased probability of failure? Does the government need experience in insurance exchange etc.? I think that the government could definitely function without it. As long as the government streamlined some of the admin work I don’t see how it could cost the taxpayers money.

  4. Hubert says:

    The idea that government should use “the existing web-based exchanges to drive people into the system” is ridiculous.

  5. Jacob Duveaux says:

    Isn’t the government trying to move away from private management of insurance? Wasn’t that the whole problem?

    • Nigel says:

      While it might seem that way, it is not the whole problem…I don’t think you could minimize it to such a small cause. It has to do with government subsidies in the economy, intellectual property right/patent law, and lack of incentive to make the system more efficient.

  6. Buster says:

    I’ve been saying all along that is the best example of an exchange we have. Whey were they able to do with startup funding what the federal government is spending bills to do?

    • Politics Debunked says:

      Yup. There is of course no reason for the government to get into the business. Likely the major reason there aren’t more players in the niche is because healthcare is so heavily regulated that many entrepreneurs&investors steer clear of it to shoot for safer low regulation niches. Plus of course all the market distorting incentives that lead to employer insurance instead of a vast individual/family market more likely to inspire a market for exchanges.

      There is so much money floating around in healthcare there are some people that risk the niche, but far less than would otherwise. Obviously the government entering into the exchange business illustrates that those that avoided doing it were right to avoid the niche (though of course that is then a self-fulfilling prophecy to some extend since the government presumably used the lack of a market as the excuse to do it).

      The government needs to lock itself in to guaranteeing it won’t step into certain businesses for some large number of years and let private companies take over.

  7. Erik says:

    I personally like Quoit IPro better than ehealthinsurance for health insurance quotes as ehealth tries to stear you to plans instead of finding a plan that fits.

    Also, the exchange and participants in the California version are private companies participating in a public/private enterprise.