Health insurance concerns spur hospitals to take drastic step
Small businesses are not the only ones that have been voicing concerns over the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. The federal health care law has been raising worries among hospitals throughout the country, many of which claim the Affordable Care Act will have a drastic and problematic impact on health care and health insurance. In Atlanta, Georgia, two hospitals are beginning to work together in order to circumvent the problems they foresee regarding the Affordable Care Act.
New health insurance company may provide comprehensive coverage to consumers
Wellstar Health Systems and Piedmont Healthcare are working to form their own health insurance company — one they expect to compete with the likes of United Healthcare and Aetna. The hospitals believe that increasing competition in the health insurance market will drive down rates, thus aiding in making coverage more affordable for consumers. The hospitals also believe that the health insurance company they plan to form will allow them to offer better coverage plans than what can be found in the market currently, largely due to the fact that doctors have a better understanding of a patient’s medical condition than typical insurers do.
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Creating insurance company may be monumental undertaking
Creating a new health insurance company is an ambitious effort and not one that is likely to be free from challenges. The insurance organization being formed by the hospitals will have to adhere to strict state and federal regulations, which are currently in a state of change due to the Affordable Care Act. Health insurance companies that do not comply with these regulations face significant financial consequences as well as legal backlash. In order to acclimate to the somewhat turbulent environment of the health insurance market, both Wellstar Health Systems and Piedmont Healthcare will offer coverage only to their employees and their dependents in order to test the capabilities of the health insurance company they are forming.
Larger companies have already established a strong following
The success of initial market tests will determine whether the hospitals will move forward with their health insurance ambitions. It is difficult to say whether or not such an endeavor will succeed or ever reach a point where it can compete with much larger insurance companies that already have massive consumer bases and have a better understanding of the regulatory landscape.