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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pa., N.J. Insurers Gearing Up For Obamacare Business

Today's post was shared by Kaiser Health News and comes from

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With new federal rules and mandates, you’d think that health insurers would be beating the loudest drum in the repeal-the-Affordable Care Act band.

But they’re not, and there are a couple of reasons why.

The first is pretty obvious. Millions of uninsured people will be flooding the online exchanges when they open nationwide on Oct. 1, presenting companies with a tremendous opportunity to build their roles and revenues.

But that may not be the only reason. Even insured workers may soon be allowed to pick plans over online marketplaces, upending the traditional model of employers knowing best.

In any event, “the direct-to-consumer health insurance market is growing,” says Joel Cantor, a professor of health policy at Rutgers University. “Under the Affordable Care Act, 15 to 16 million people will be in that market for health insurance in the next year or so. That is a significant increase.”

Until the ACA was passed in 2010, health insurance was pretty much a business-to-business transaction. Insurers sold plans to employers acting as proxies for their employees. Once the ACA became law, insurers started refocusing their marketing strategies on consumers.

Many insurers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are preparing to launch marketing efforts to educate consumers. Most of New Jersey’s large insurers, including Aetna, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and AmeriHealth, will be in the state’s...

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