Joel Ario Comments on Health Insurance Exchange Competition

Joel Ario Comments on Health Insurance Exchange Competition

"ACA Exchange Competition May Disappoint: Ex-CMS Director"

July 1, 2013 - Manatt's Joel Ario, a managing director with Manatt Health Solutions, spoke to Law360 about the dynamics surrounding the online health insurance marketplaces that are set to open on October 1.

Ario told the publication that while the Affordable Care Act's state-based health insurance exchanges appear poised to deliver consumer-friendly rates, it's not clear yet whether multistate insurance plans intended to inject extra competition into the market and drive down prices will be much more than existing state policies by another name.

The purpose of the multistate plans is to address weak competition in states whose markets are dominated by single insurers or small handfuls of them. The ACA requires that the multistate program include at least two participating insurers, although some insurers with a national footprint might more or less duplicate existing policies.

As an example, Ario said that if the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association participates in the multistate program, observers will be looking closely at how its offerings differ from existing policies, since the Blues are already present in every state.

"Is it a true competitor, or is it a larger number of Blue Cross plans?" Ario asked.

"[It] remains to be see whether the multistate [program] offers genuine competitors," he added.

Read the article here.



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