A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows agents and brokers serve as health insurance catalysts for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
The study found small firms in more competitive agent/broker markets are more likely to offer health insurance to their active employees; increased competition is associated with lower premiums; and premiums are less dispersed in markets with more competition.
The study says changes brought about by The Affordable Care Act will improve “transparency and reduce search costs” although the role of brokers in the health exchanges has yet to be determined.”
Firms facing fewer choices will likely turn to the state health exchange being set up under Obamacare. Brokers, meanwhile, feel the pinch
Barbara Benson, reporter for Crain’s New York Business, writes about EblemHealth’s announcement that it’s “making major changes to its health insurance products.” It’s a move, Benson writes, that “mirrors actions taken by Empire BlueCross BlueShield in 2011 when it cut its business in the small-group market by about two-thirds because the plans had become so unprofitable.”
Both Emblem Health and Empire BlueCross BlueShield are members of The Business Council.
Click here to read Benson’s story.