Health exchange generates conflicting perspectives

To the Editor: This shouldn’t surprise anyone (“United’s marketplace may be first to challenge HealthSource RI,” Feb. 5, 2014, PBN.com). Fragmenting the market by opening competing exchanges will defeat the group purchasing power of HealthSource RI, preventing it from driving real reform through the system. More

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OP-ED / LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Health exchange generates conflicting perspectives

Posted 2/17/14

To the Editor:

This shouldn’t surprise anyone (“United’s marketplace may be first to challenge HealthSource RI,” Feb. 5, 2014, PBN.com). Fragmenting the market by opening competing exchanges will defeat the group purchasing power of HealthSource RI, preventing it from driving real reform through the system.

Insurers have always known how to cherry-pick group purchasing schemes to protect their profits. The more exchanges, the less power each will have to reform a system that is already working just fine for UnitedHealthcare, with more than $111 billion in revenue.

Ted Almon

Warwick

President and CEO, Claflin Co.

To the Editor:

If HealthSource RI were the conduit of which all groups of all sizes were to purchase from, then with all of the administrative responsibility it would require to manage a population of that size, how could they possibly negotiate any more of a competitive premium when they have currently secured only a small fraction of the state’s business population while asking for $18 million to $24 million to run future operations?

Though our state’s exchange is running much more efficiently than most others, how much more could they then require in administrative fees if they were responsible for 100 percent of the state’s insured population? My educated guess is that whatever discounts they were favorably able to secure on premiums would eventually be washed away once they added their fees back into the negotiated rates.

Ultimately the spirit of the ACA law is to compete on equal terms.

James Raiola

Warwick

Owner, James Raiola, CFP and Associates

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