Ask Not What An Insurance Exchange Is…

…rather ask what an insurance exchange could be.

By now, you may have read about the incredible growth in insurance exchanges, both in the public sector as well as the private sector. Some exchanges serve large, enterprise-sized businesses. Others serve mid market employers. Some offer slick user interface and choice. Others are still getting the UI/UX down. And others are public (government) exchanges focused on individuals and small businesses.

On a basic level, an insurance exchange allows more choice for employees while allowing an employer to budget costs via defined contribution. Exchanges can also be a new distribution channel for health insurance companies and other insurance lines.

That’s today…but what about tomorrow?

Choice and budget will only take an employer so far before the employee begins taking on more of the cost of insurance in future years.

Therefore, what an exchange could be is what should be driving the innovation and strategy for the future of insurance exchanges.

So let’s ask some questions to help frame how exchanges can and will evolve:

How can an exchange drive employee engagement?  How can an exchange help provide transparency to its members and help members make better, more informed decisions regarding their health?  How can an exchange use technology to simplify some of the complexities that exist in healthcare? How can an exchange help impact health decisions and health outcomes? How can an exchange be leveraged to change the way the healthcare delivery system operates today?

More to come on this soon…for now, I’ll simply leave you with the above questions.

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