The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has motivated many employers to start offering health coverage via private exchanges. According to data provided by Accenture in a recent New York Times article, “three million people signed up for workplace health coverage for this year through private exchanges. That’s roughly three times the number of people the firm had estimated last fall would enroll for coverage through the private exchanges.”
Accenture’s Rich Birhanzel, who leads their health administration services, notes that small and mid-market organizations are leading the rapid transition to the private exchanges. Accenture forecasts that participation in the private exchanges will pass the Government funded exchanges by 2018. The article highlights many factors driving employers to the private exchanges, with the main reasons being cost control, reduction of administrative burden, and the ability to offer a variety of options to their employees.
As employees go through the process of enrolling in the private exchanges, it is important to be aware of one important tradeoff. Selecting plans with lower monthly premiums typically means the employee will be responsible for higher deductibles, or out-of-pocket costs. As out-of-pocket costs rise, physician groups need to be prepared to collect larger payments from their patients. As the scope and impact of the ACA continues to grow, more and more organizations will begin to transition to the private exchanges. Is your practice prepared to change with the market?
By: Tyler Kehoe