Professionals representing the Tennessee health insurance industry gathered in Hendersonville,
Tennessee, this week to meet with business owners and state officials to discuss the current state of the insurance market and what effects a health insurance exchange would have on it. The changes coming to the insurance industry as part of the Affordable Care Act have left many business owners in the state with questions. Some are unsure how the new laws will affect their ability to offer health care to their employees, while others are still questioning what a health insurance exchange actually is and how it will be used.
The director of the state’s Insurance Exchange Planning Initiative,
Brian Haile, was in attendance at the meeting. Haile is tasked with weighing the pros and cons of a state-run exchange program and has been working with businesses and insurers to investigate the effects of the federal health care law. Haile has expressed concern regarding the great deal of options the law has given insurers in regards to participating in the exchange program.
While a state-run exchange is expected to push insurance rates down, whether it will achieve this aim is not yet clear.
The federal insurance mandate that would require all U.S. citizens to have some form of health insurance will be heading to the Supreme Court next year. If the mandate is repealed, there would be little to no incentive for healthy people to seek out insurance coverage, which would have insurers raising prices to account for the number of unhealthy people they would be covering.