Republicans might boost online health insurance firms

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April 26, 2015 by Tony Novak

(A non-political observation on possible changes to the Affordable Care Act)

Republicans now hold a majority in both houses of Congress and might regain the White House in 2016. Health care reform is likely to remain as one of the Republican party’s primary agenda items. Obamacare has reduced the rate of uninsured in the U.S. from 16% in 2010 to less than 10% in 2015. This is a success, no doubt. Yet it seems unlikely that we are done making changes to health care and our health insurance system.

The Republican health care reform plan calls for:

  1. Making exchanges voluntary for states.
  2. Eliminating health insurance tax penalties.
  3. Allowing a wider range of insurance plans especially low cost plans with lower maximum benefits.
  4. Allowing insurance to be sold across state lines.
  5. Replace Medicaid expansion with block grants to move beneficiaries to government-paid commercial insurance.

This post is not meant evaluate the merits of any of these proposals but instead meant to draw attention to the fact that any change toward the Republican plan will be positive for the health insurance industry including my small business Freedom Benefits all the way  up to the market leading firm Ehealth that provides our back-office insurance enrollment technology. Considering the poor financial results of the online health insurance enrollment industry over the past five years, any of these changes would be welcome to shareholders.

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