Unique Skill Sets Needed to Run Government Health Insurance Exchanges (HIXs)

by Patrick Riley 01 Aug 2013
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For a federally run HIX to be successful it must compete in the same space as traditional insurance channels and beat them. This means whomever is in charge must be part Richard Branson (Entrepreneur), part Donnie Deutch (Marketing), and part Warren Buffet (Business acumen). At the same time, they must also be prepared for relentless scrutiny of how he or she obligate public funds.

Spend too much to attract new enrollees and FOX News will insist money is being squandered. Spend too little to win new enrollees and MSNBC will attack saying management is inept. And this individual or team, let's hope, must refrain from entering into a political debate, which is what every reporter who interviews them or writes about them will try to do.

Well run exchanges hold the potential to leverage buying-power, achieve optimum efficiencies, and demonstrate the highest level of customer service. Ideally, these marketplaces, as the Obama administration likes to call them now, have the potential to add a new level of government service by assisting people who may never have known what it is like to have a doctor, or health insurance at all. They can serve to identify eligibility and introduce government subsidies that will impact a familie's lifestyle like probably nothing before in their lives.

Yet, if government run health insurance marketplaces become too successful, they will cut into the revenue of insurance brokers who will in turn cry foul and contact their Congressional representatives demanding a leveling of the playing field. If, however, these brave young men and women, who are in for the fight of their lives, against a mountain of challenges can manage to overcome these obstacles, they will become pioneers in spreading healthcare coverage and stabilizing health insurance markets for years to come. Maybe.

Please look for more from me on this topic and I welcome your feedback and comments. You can also follow me on Twitter @Patrick_FrostHC

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