Affordable Care Act Puts Onus on Insurers

As 2014 approaches, so does the implementation phase of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). Critical to its successful rollout is getting the majority of the uninsured into health plans, whether through the state exchanges, Medicaid or directly through private insurers. I am reposting this nifty video produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation that explains the ACA to the layman. To keep rates affordable and usage at reasonable levels, there needs to be a balance of young and healthy along with old and sick who sign up. That means the insurers will be working hard behind the scenes to facilitate this. Here is a presentation of the implications of healthcare reform by a professor at Drexel University. This gives a broader view that emphasizes the iterative nature of reform in finding efficiencies. One highlight is the fact that reform should offer opportunities for patients to take more control over their individual health issues, including chronic disease management. 

For those of you who follow me, you know that I am particularly concerned about the cost side of healthcare. The ACA addresses cost indirectly firstly by reducing the lines for basic healthcare at our ER centers and secondly by offering incentives for effective chronic disease management. This video advocates the patient's point of view for greater access to healthcare. If humor makes explanation of a complex piece of legislation easier to understand check out this Nicki Minaj send up. And finally, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners provides a very earnest and cogent presentation of the essential elements of the ACA. 

So it is with some irony that, rather than the government, it is the insurers who are now on the line to get the uninsured to sign up. This pool includes many people who have been excluded by the insurers due to pre-existing conditions. In my next post, I will offer some examples of how insurers are working to persuade the uninsured to get insured. 

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