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growth of health insurance enrollments

Kim Morris | March 15, 2009

The health care reform movement headed by the Obama administration is expected to eventually add up to 50 million new health insurance polices to the market, according to the Wall Street Journal. Most of these policies are expected to be issued by commercial insurance companies but little has been published about the expected makeup of these 50 million policies. In addition, the current discussion focuses on accelerating the transfer of public insurance plans to the private insurance sector based on perceived successes in the Medicare program. These programs mean hundreds of millions of dollars in enrollment fees will eventually be paid to properly positioned firms. MedSave.com expects to be one of the beneficiaries but strategic planning for this trend is difficult.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 intends to increase the number of people covered by temporary insurance by subsidizing the cost of COBRA coverage for up to nine months. Credible estimates of the number of policies this measure will create, in our opinion, are not currently available. We were already well-positioned to benefit from an increase in COBRA or COBRA alternattive enrollments. Currently only the COBRA plans of specific individuals are subsidized by the government program.

The bipartisan Senate group spearheading health care reform seems to be focusing on promoting individual insurance as opposed to expanding employer-provided coverage it is not clear how this would be accomplished. Presumably the government would either pay part of the cost and/or promote enrollment in less expensive polcies.

All of these developments are extremely positive indicators for the health insurance enrollment industry. But the big question about the growth of affordable health insurance remains: what types of policies (Individual, group, temporary, renewable, managed care , mini-med or supplemental insurance) are likely to be promoted by government reformers and to what extent? MedSave.com is intensely interested in these projections of specific policy types since government leadership will largely govern the growth of affordable health insurance enrollments over the coming years.

For now, we will just have to wait on the future of our industry.

Tags : health insurance

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