States across the country are finalizing the details on the highly anticipated health insurance exchanges required through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Each state will be offering a web-based store where consumers can browse health insurance information and make purchases from the comfort of their homes. The exchanges offer coverage comparisons for employers as well as individuals, and Minnesota is drafting its model with a customer service focus.
Minnesota Public Radio reported the health insurance exchange concept was created to make it easier for people to acquire coverage privately or through an employer. Joan Cleary, head of the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance, told the source that superior customer service will be a key driver of success for the exchanges, as many people will feel uncomfortable selecting coverage online. Minnesota’s health insurance exchange hopes to simplify the various complexities of health insurance coverage, making the options easy to understand to accelerate purchasing decisions.
However simple that may sound, many lawmakers in the state are not yet convinced. Republican state Representative Steve Gottwalt told the Minnesota Post that there are a few questions he still has regarding the web-based tool before he can support the initiative. Gottwalt would like to have a more detailed explanation as to how the exchanges will be governed and who will serve on this governing body, for example.