Medica, a health organization that provides insurance to Wisconsin and Minnesota, has announced plans to launch a new plan for businesses that will give them an opportunity to rein in soaring medical costs. The new plan will also allow policyholders more freedom in tailoring their plans to better suit their needs. The plan, however, will be more expensive than its counterparts, a fact that does not sit well with some consumers who say the last thing people need in a troubled economy is more expensive coverage options.
The insurer has introduced this new plan as a stepping stone to the inevitable establishment of a health insurance exchange. The plan operates in much the same way that an exchange does, but in a much more limited capacity as it caters only to employers and their employees.
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Through the program, employers set aside an allowance for their employees to use when purchasing health insurance. Employees browse a database online which Medica has populated with 20 insurance plans. Shoppers can opt to purchase an existing plan or mix and match plans to create their own.
The insurer hopes to have the program in place by July 1st. Medica has received a wave of interest from businesses of all sizes, but comparatively few have signed up for the new program. This has not deterred company officials, however, who insist that the benefits inherent in such a program are self-evident.