At Infosys, our focus on Healthcare is aimed at radical progress in affordability, wellness, and patient-centricity. We believe technology is a catalyst for game-changing healthcare solutions. In this blog, we discuss challenges, ideas, innovations, and solutions for the healthcare economy.

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The very mention of the word "Exchange" today, in the United States is associated with Health reform and the PPACA act which was implemented by President Obama in March 2010 and why not? It is probably one of the most discussed topics today.  The Exchange which is supposed to make insurance purchase a simple yet effective tool for the majority of uninsured population, has long been in controversy, sometimes due to actual reasons and concerns; like the cost of implementing an exchange or how to actually make the Exchange self-sufficient by 2015, both at the state level or sometimes only because of political conflict. The general public for a very long has been in a dilemma about what is in it, for them.

The act mandates that every individual needs to be insured by Jan 2014. In such a scenario the common man is confused - 'Should I purchase insurance right away from an existing agency or a private exchange? 'Or 'should I wait for the reform which claims to provide subsidies?'. Something else that can trouble any consumer majorly can be the confusing status of release of such exchanges. Every other State has its own confusions and conflicts with the federal government weather to set up an Exchange or not.

  • What will happen to these Exchanges if and when there is a change in the government?
  • What will happen if a plan is discontinued in an Exchange due to non-conformance to federal standards and  will the Exchange be able to provide an equivalent plan in such a case?
  • If and at all I have certain benefits from an insurance company due to loyalty to a certain plan even  though I might be underinsured is the switch to a new Exchange worth it?
  • Would I rather pay the fine than pay the big premium for my entire family?

I am very sure that there is more than this that can come into consideration when an actual purchase has to be made. As a consumer what would interest me should be the priority of every Exchange and every platform associated with it.

The people responsible for designing such platforms should be able to resolve such issues with as much simplicity as possible and make the process an easy, seamless one which will ensure that no Exchange will wear a deserted look.

Every Exchange should be able to:

  • Tell me why I need insurance and what would be the benefits of buying insurance early.
  • Also explain why paying is not a preferred solution
  • The Exchanges should also try to contract with payer partners to continue the "no- claims bonus" or any  other benefits of loyalty, if the same payer exists within the Exchange.
  • The Exchange should look, feel user friendly, and also make the process of insurance purchase as trouble  free, stress free and non-chaotic as possible.
  • It should be simple and transparent and state facts clearly.

Most of the private exchanges look jazzy and give an impression of being quite pricy and give the feel of extravagance which comes with a huge set of fine print which is invisible to a common naked eye. The Exchange should target this very aspect and omit the fine-print which helps them:

  • Choose suitable cover which does not have any hidden clauses and conditions
  • Choose a payer who would not hike rates unreasonably once the plan is purchased
  • Choose plans according to the quality of care the payer promises to provide

Since it is a federal government initiative the population should be able to easily trust the Exchange and have faith in the choice and benefits it provides, after all it's meant to Exchange good healthcare for the premium the citizens pay.

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