Two of the insurance industry’s most powerful organizations say a crucial provision in the Senate Republican health care bill allowing the sale of bare-bones policies is “unworkable in any form,” delivering a blow to party leaders’ efforts to win support for their legislation.
The language was crafted by conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and leaders have included it in the overall bill in hopes of winning votes from other congressional conservatives. But moderates have worried it will cause people with serious illnesses to lose coverage, and some conservatives say it doesn’t go far enough.
Two of the 52 GOP senators have already said they will oppose the legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cannot lose any others for the legislation to survive a showdown vote expected next week.
“The health insurance market is a mess,” says Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “There would be a market outside the health insurance exchanges that would look very similar to the way it was before the Affordable Care Act, with a lot of skinny plans that only healthy people could buy.”
Eight years from now, Levitt expects you’d have a health insurance market that looks a lot like the market we had eight years ago, before the Affordable Care Act passed. Health plans would compete to find the cheapest members and deny coverage to the people they expected to rack up big bills. These plans would have low premiums and few benefits. They would likely have lifetime limits on overall benefits and not cover expensive services such as maternity care.
According to Alan CEO Jean-Charles Samuelian, the company didn’t expect that there would be a lot of demand for this product. But it turns out that most of their clients want to simplify their insurance contracts by centralizing everything with one insurance company.
Alan operates as a modern web service for this product too. You can send documents using your smartphone and pay online. Employees get their own dashboard. Alan automates all the paperwork for your accountants and sends data directly to your payroll provider.
Once again, it sounds basic but many insurance companies fail to provide this level of user experience. And it’s a huge business opportunity as health insurance alone represents $40 billion (€35 billion) while life insurance is a $17 billion market (€15 million).
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