We just finished the ACA’s second open enrollment period. The individual mandate is in its second year, and uninsured individuals just paid their first individual mandate penalties. The employer mandate is now in effect. Most of the big stuff is done – implementation of the Affordable Care Act, while not complete, is well on its way.
But if you thought health reform was going to stop making headlines, think again. The fact that Hillary Clinton has tossed her hat in the ring and, barring some huge and unexpected blunder, will be the Democratic nominee for president, almost guarantees that the Affordable Care Act will continue to be a huge topic of conversation for the next year-and-a-half (and probably longer).
So is that good or bad? The answer, like almost anything related to health reform, is it depends. If you’re in the habit of complaining about health reform and arguing that the law should be repealed, Hillary’s support of the legislation will likely cause you some stress and give you more stuff to complain about. But if you see the opportunity presented by the ACA, then you’re probably quick to realize that keeping health reform, the individual mandate, and the subsidies in the spotlight for the next couple open enrollment periods could help your marketing efforts.
While group coverage remains strong, with most companies choosing at this time to hang on to their employer-based coverage, much of the media attention and much of the government’s PR efforts have been on the individual market. Brokers who jump on the bandwagon and offer a solution for people seeking individual coverage can use all of this attention – and the increased attention during the presidential campaign – to sell even more health insurance.