Insurers Begin Push to Consumers in Advance of ACA
Move over, retail clinics. Say hello to the latest healthcare entrant into the retail space — insurers. Because of the ACA and the mandated offerings due to take place by 1/1/14 within exchange marketplaces, you’ll probably be seeing more of these insurance kiosks blocking your mall-walking paths in the near future. This concept is really no surprise; I’m actually amazed it has taken this long here in Minnesota for the average consumer to experience this effort. But, as they say, when it rains — it pours.
Bloomington-based HealthPartners will open a makeshift store in a hall at Ridgedale Center at the end of this month and pull up stakes on Dec. 22. The booth will be staffed early enough in the morning to catch the mall walkers and late enough in the evening for holiday shoppers and visitors to Santa to stop in.
Insurers have always been at the center of those who stand to benefit the greatest within healthcare exchanges. The lure of the aggressive push to seek potential customers is essentially a no-brainer for them. Customers benefit from this latest ACA “rollout”, as choice will be key to finding access to care for many who are finally able to do so. Perhaps this musing by an exec sums up the process best:
We don’t have a hard-and-fast sense of how it’ll work … Most people think of their health insurance as a task. But we’re trying to have people thinking about health care coverage more directly linked to how you think about your health … like eating and exercise.
Michael L. Douglas, MD, MBA is the editor and proprietor of Doctor Pundit, one of the blogosphere's leading physician blogs and healthcare policy blogs. He is a geriatrician and board-certified family physician who serves as the clinical director of long term care services at the Saint Peter (MN) Regional Treatment Center, the state's inpatient forensic psychiatric facility. Dr. Douglas is ...