Regardless of how you feel about the results of the recent US election, it seems clear now that the next phase of Healthcare Reform will be enacted. One of the more interesting aspects of the law is that it will require states to implement exchanges for individuals and small businesses (small employer groups) to be able to purchase health insurance. The idea of the exchanges is to bring collective buying power to:
- Significantly expand access to coverage
- Potentially provide an economic opportunity for the collective purchasing power to drive down premiums.
To date, the focus on these exchanges has been primarily a health insurance priority. However, there are interesting questions to consider—namely, whether these same exchanges represent a potential new market for other types of insurance coverage or benefit services. Consider the small employer group purchasing collectives. If these collectives are organized to enable buying health coverage for them and their employees, might these same collectives be interested in purchasing other employee benefits or other types of coverage?
Property and casualty and group benefits insurers should consider whether there could be a new market for their services in these exchanges—and explore ways to gain first mover advantage.