In an article in the February issue of Health Affairs journal, William Kramer, executive director for national health policy at the Pacific Business Group on Health in San Francisco, discusses the potential long-term role the public health insurance exchanges could play in helping larger companies manage their health care benefits. In our earlier Q&A with Kramer, Part 1 and Part 2 he mentioned various scenarios could play out in the future. Now, we will highlight some of those scenarios and the opportunities they present for larger companies.
The state health insurance exchanges created by the health care reform law are slated to be up and running on January 1, 2014. Initially, the exchanges will be open only to small businesses and individuals purchasing health insurance. However, starting in 2017, these exchanges could be open to larger employers. In his article, "Large Employers See Scenarios Under Which They Could Move Workers and Retirees to Exchanges," Kramer discusses near-term opportunities for leveraging the exchanges from 2014-2016 and longer-term opportunities starting in 2017: