Public HIX Give Commercial Plans a Run for Their Money

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media , February 5, 2014

While Feldvebel and Tiano are reluctant to view the public exchanges as a revolutionary development for the broader health insurance market, that's not necessarily the view in Texas, where everything is big, including the impact of the federally administered health insurance exchange.

"We are already seeing employers do away with small group health plans and having us come in to assist their employees with exchange plans," said Tanya Boyd, an insurance broker and owner of Tanya Boyd & Associates in Sunnyvale, TX. "Some get tax credits and some don't. For those with tax credits and dependents, it has so far been a substantial savings to both the employee and the employer."

At the very least, the public exchange market is giving Texas employers a valuable option, Boyd told me.

"Not all employers like dealing with the administrative burdens of group health plans, and this allows them to wash their hands of it, and in turn makes it more affordable for some employees depending on their income and household size," she said.

There's no crystal ball providing a clear view of the future for the public exchanges and the broader healthcare insurance market. But the view does get sharper when we can rely more on objective analysis and less on "early rhetoric."

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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