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Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

Now, it starts to get interesting.  As defined in the PPACA, the rules for building and running an insurance exchange are emerging.  The Feds (aka the Department of Health and Human Services)  have released the first major guidance document.  Want a peek under the hood?  Here is their web page… http://tinyurl.com/5uayxyq or click here if your link isn’t working.

There are 2 states with Exchanges up and running – Massachusets and Utah.  I’m going to do some research into the Utah experiment and report back…

The dawn of the Exchanges

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Welcome back!  Now, for the next drop in the bucket…

Rhetorical question – wouldn’t you love to have a quick guide to what is happening and when in health insurance reform?  I just found exactly that – click here.  It just takes some time and distance to make complex things clear…which is anther reason I am glad I work at Gregory & Appel.

Looking forward to a very interesting 2011.

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Just got news that a Federal District Court Judge( Henry E. Hudson, a George W. Bush appointee) has ruled the individual mandate in the PPACA unconstitutional.

So, why does this not matter?

He is the third district court judge to rule, and is the first to rule against the PPACA as enacted.  Ah, but here is the catch – He ruled against the government, but he didn’t stop the reform bill from going into force.  He refused to grant an injunction against the legislation’s continued implementation. The construction of the bill’s infrastructure will continue.

The plaintiffs in this case were asking that the entire bill be struck down, which the judge did not do.  He only ruled against the individual mandate, which is a helpful part of the bill but not the core operational issue.  I am not a legal type, even though I work in Insurance, but it appears clear that the language the judge chose to use sharply limits the scope of the court’s action.

The last word on all of this will be in the big marble building just East of the Capitol – the Supreme Court. The fact that the various courts are sniping at each other ensures that the Supreme Court will be the final decider.  As of now, if you are keeping score, the range of opinions is from “the law is fine” to “the individual mandate is not fine, but the rest of the law is.”   Who knows.  It may get partially repealed and Republicans may  block any attempts at a fix, but it’s a far cry from a world in which the Supreme Court strikes down the whole of the health-care law. 

Stay tuned – in about two years…

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The new normal has begun – and the first scraps of new ideas in delivering health insurance are emerging.

I spotted an interesting story from the Carolinas.   You can read it here.  They are setting up state-wide cooperatives to offer group buying of health insurance.  Exchanges, anyone?  Where many states are filing lawsuits to challenge the constitutionality of the new law, others are moving forward and getting new structures in place. 

This is a time where the early adopter has an advantage.  The first states to figure out the recipe for affordable health insurance will have a real competitive advantage.  Time to act!

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It had to happen.  As the “wellness” bandwagon is getting rolling, lots of people are jumping on.  I have had three sales calls from vitamin sales people who started the call with a wellness pitch, and chiropractors are becoming “wellness” consultants.  Now, it looks like the workout/fitness world will be rebranding itself.

Read this article for a look inside a recent industry trade show about the subject.  Looks like a marketing blitz is about to start, just in time for new year’s weight loss program…

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I promised to keep you posted on the frontlines of the challenges to health insurance reform.  Yesterday, the first lawsuit that I know of was ruled on by a judge – and the basic constitutionality of the law was upheld.  It happened in a federal courtroom in Detroit – you can read the full story here.  As you may know, the State of Indiana has filed it’s own lawsuit challenging the law, so this first ruling is of special interest to our Attorney General…

I’ll keep you posted.

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In today’s trifecta of Webinars on Health Insurance Reform, the overall theme is handicapping the political scene in general, and the mix of the Republicans vs the Democrats in congress when the smoke clears in early November.

It really doesn’t matter, as the outcome will certainly not be a complete repudiation of everything Democratic.  There will still be gridlock.

What really does matter this week is California taking the first steps on setting up the first state Insurance Exchange, with legislation signed by a moderate Republican governor to get the basics in place.  Many other states are watching this carefully.  Others are taking another, more confrontational approach – suing the constitutionality of the whole affair. 

What REALLY matters in all of this is that the early leanings in California exclude the use of Brokers and Licensed Agents from participation in the exchanges.  I’m here to tell you that the idea of non-licensed advisors involved in something as complex as health insurance is a bad idea.  Kind of like a non-licensed financial advisor running your 401k.  Bad (or unethical) things might happen.

A good blog post on the overall subject can be read here.  I’ll be following this issue in coming months and reporting back…

Webinar survival kit - soda, smartphone, speakerphone, and a notepad. If only there was a better answer than "Yes and No"...

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