• AcademyHealth – How will people navigate the insurance exchanges?

    The health exchanges are going to happen. But how will people fare while navigating them. That’s the topic of my latest piece at the AcademyHealth blog.  Go read!

    @aaronecarroll

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    • Perhaps you should have also mentioned the research on Medicare Part D, which shows that in 2009, only about 5 percent of seniors pick the Part D plan that minimizes their total drug costs.

      http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/index.php/2012/10/study-seniors-overspend-on-medicare-part-d/

      In other words, consumers clearly don’t have infinite cognitive resources, and they are likely to fail to make the optimum choice. It will be very interesting to see how the blue states fare against the red states: we can expect more selective accreditation of health plans by regulators in the blue states and a much more laissez faire approach in the red ones.

    • I think that the drug plans are intentionally too complex to allow people to make the “best” choice.
      I know that I spent a lot of time with my Mom’s drug list reviewing the potential plans and the Medicare web site. I finally gave up and recommended she keep the same plan even though I couldn’t figure out if this was the best for her.
      It’s really not appropriate to ask consumers to make these choices. There should be be a single standard drug plan to keep the insurance companies from gaming the system.

    • There will be navigators as well as brokers to help participants through the process.
      My concern is if it is fairly easy (with or without assistance) to purchase a policy, will people shop every year? Will the mindset be “What is the best plan for me, this year?”
      If that is the case expect huge turnover, which ultimately should inflate the premiums even more. It is costly to recoup 99% of your business every 5 years.
      Don Levit