Health Net adapts business to succeed in post-reform market

Health Net stands out among insurers as a company that remains positive about the healthcare reform law and its impact, regardless of the uncertainty, political debates and technical problems surrounding the health insurance exchange rollout.

CEO Jay Gellert has staked much of Health Net's future success on the reform law, transforming how the company does business. "We are definitely all in with the Affordable Care Act," he told the Los Angeles Times.

Health Net is selling plans on exchanges in California, Arizona and Oregon, and Gellert thinks it's possible to add more than 1 million members in the next five years. The insurer already hired 400 new employees and reassigned others to handle the large increase in membership, including answering customer questions and processing more claims.

Gellert admits doing business in California has influenced his decision to jump head first into all things reform, according to the LA Times.

"We think California will be a model of how this law will work in a place where everyone's committed to making it work," he said. "I'd be more skeptical and nervous if we were in states where there wasn't the level of support."

Of course, inevitable challenges lie ahead as Health Net seeks to broaden its member base and expand into new markets. For example, the insurer might not have the infrastructure in place to handle the influx of new members or too many sick and expensive people might sign up for coverage. It's also possible the insurer won't have enough doctors to adequately care for its new members, particularly since Health Net's plans offer the fewest doctors among those on the California exchange, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the Los Angeles Times article