Seven Cherries on White Background

The Obamacare healthcare.gov implementation might go down in history as one of the poorest managed high visibility project in our time. A good percentage of the nation is aligning against the health reform, mainly because of the failures associated with the rollout.

However, things are not as bad as they seem. Obamacare, believe it or not, has shaken the foundations of health insurance industry and is expected to have lasting effects on the way health payors and our nation perceives health insurance. Today, we delve into the seven things that the Obamacare implementation has brought forth which are changing perspectives.

1)    America is ready for Health Reform. Contrary to what the opposition has been lobbying for quite some time, probably since the conception of the ACA, the nation is ready for health reform. It is evident from the traction the health insurance marketplace has seen in these past months, especially from people who are eligible for subsidies. In the months to come, along with the improvements in the online marketplace, Americans will fully embrace Obamacare.

2)    Industry has fully adopted the concept of marketplaces. Although healthcare.gov did not achieve the success it was aiming for, the concept of marketplaces has gone really well with the health insurance industry. Since people are quite comfortable with online marketplace shopping in general, as demonstrated by the online shopping, most large scale health payors have established their own private exchanges to cater to the requirements of the market and are getting a fair share of interaction from the market already.

3)    Private insurance exchanges are the new health insurance providers for large employers. Employers have long struggled to provide the best possible combination of quality, affordability and care to their employees. With Obamacare, this challenge has become a bit more complicated and to overcome this challenge, many employers, Walgreens, Darden Restaurants, Sears Holdings Corp. for example, have strategically moved to private exchanges for better cost to quality ratio and improved healthcare coverage. In the coming months, more employers are expected to follow suit.

4)    Importance of planning. Had it not been for the stumbling healthcare.gov, Obama administration would have, most likely, received much larger enrollment numbers. Issues stemmed from compressed time, poor project management and the general lack of oversight.

5)    Exchange navigator program is the best strategic move by the government. While navigators might not have been viewed in this light before, these navigators have proved to be indispensable for the government. When healthcare.gov struggled, the navigators took up the mantle of getting the residents of respective states through the enrollment process. Paper applications, subsidy eligibility, marketplace enrollments, you name it and these navigators were present for the service of fellow Americans and getting them enrolled with the system.

6)    Brokers are indispensable. Earlier, during the implementation stage of PPACA, brokers were threatened by the incoming brokers benefits marketplaces, which were being seen as a business killer. However, with the setup of these marketplaces, these brokers have become all the more important. Just like navigators, brokers are helping people enroll with the system through quality advice, assistance, and suggestions for the benefit of customers. Broker agencies are experiencing new rise in business and are adding jobs to the economy by hiring more and more insurance brokers.

7)    Health policy cancellation mess could have been avoided. The health policy cancellation for health plans that were not compliant with the ACA was a big mistake by the Obama administration. After continuously stating if you like your policy, you can keep it – thousands of policies were cancelled. On December 19, the administration tried to stop the bleeding by announcing that people whose policies have been canceled will be  allowed to buy catastrophic coverage and will be exempt from tax penalties for not having insurance in 2014.

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