How the healthcare reform law ultimately affects leads for insurance agents has been the subject of great debate after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Based on the opinions of many industry leaders, whether the healthcare law will be a net positive or negative depends upon who is asked.
According to Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the PPACA has the potential to expand coverage. There are aspects of it, however, that could wind up hurting the industry, particularly as it relates to costs.
"The law expands coverage to millions of Americans, a goal health plans have long supported, but major provisions, such as the premium tax, will have the unintended consequences of raising costs and disrupting coverage unless they are addressed," said Ignagni, according to Insurance Journal. "“Health plans will continue to work with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to make coverage more affordable, give families and employers peace of mind, and promote choice and competition."
Similarly concerned about rising healthcare expenses, which has the potential to affect agents' ability to accumulate health leads, is Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters. She noted that while the Supreme Court's ruling provides some clarity about the future of the health insurance industry, the PPACA does not "address the true drivers of health insurance costs in this country." In light of this, it is incumbent upon health insurance professionals to make sense of the law so that customers can better understand it.
Kevin McCarty, president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, added that while the NAIC has not taken a position on the soundness of the PPACA, it will work with federal regulators to ensure the most effective transition possible to the new insurance marketplace.
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