CHOICE Administrators’ CEO Addresses Future of Health Insurance Exchanges at Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters Forum

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Ron Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of , joined with fellow executives from five of the state’s leading health plans to discuss the future of healthcare in California at a special forum recently hosted by the Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters (IEAHU). Sharing the panel with Goldstein were representatives from Aetna, Anthem, CIGNA, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente.

Focusing his remarks on one of the most significant changes being brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Goldstein told the audience that provide new opportunities for brokers and health insurance agents to grow their business. “Employers and individuals are looking for a vehicle that provides affordable health insurance that meets their needs while providing choice and affordability, and for many will be the answer,” he said.

Goldstein said that while exchanges may be sold directly to the consumer, the critical role of brokers has been acknowledged by the state; and the broker’s expertise and knowledge will be more important than ever in this environment. “Brokers are best equipped to provide the information and unbiased recommendations employers need to make well-informed decisions,” said Goldstein. “Trusted, licensed and qualified brokers can also provide guidance and important perspective on everything from routine issues to serious policy interpretation.”

Health insurance exchanges create an online, one-stop shopping mall where employers, consumers, insurance brokers and others can easily view competing health plans side by side, comparing benefits, costs, provider networks and other features and choose the one that best fits their needs. The PPACA mandates that all U.S. states and territories establish and launch their own by January 1, 2014, or default to a federal fallback program.

For the past 16 years, Administrators has operated California, the nation’s most successful small group private exchange. Administrators is also working in partnership with Xerox to provide support to the Florida Health Choices program and the Nevada Silver State Health Insurance Exchange and is in final discussions with other states as well.

In addition to examining the future of health insurance exchanges, the IEAHU Carrier Panel Forum also discussed industry issues like the emergence of accountable care organizations, the importance of promoting a culture of wellness in the workplace, and the challenges California’s health plans face in handling the influx of newly insured citizens as a result of the PPACA.

Founded in 1990, the Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters was formed to serve the needs of health insurance agents and brokers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It also has a satellite chapter, the Desert Empire Sub-Chapter, which serves the membership of the low desert and the Coachella Valley. Representing approximately 200 agents, brokers and industry representatives, IEAHU is affiliated with the California Association of Health Underwriters and the National Association of Health Underwriters, which boasts more than 18,000 members.

Administrators Exchange Solutions is part of The Word & Brown Companies, the nation’s leading developer and administrator of consumer-choice insurance exchange models. Among the exchanges currently operated by Administrators are the California small group (2-50 employees) and mid-market (51-199 employees) private exchanges currently serving more than 10,000 employers and more than 150,000 members; HSA California; Choice Builder, the nation’s first ancillary benefit exchange; and Quotit, one of the nation’s largest individual/family proposal and online enrollment systems that generated 22 million individual health quotes in 2011. Other Administrators products include Kaiser Permanente Choice Solution and Contractors’ Choice.

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