Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Health insurance? Aisle 12

[Oy - scooped AGAIN! Still, mine is a bit different take on the subject. HGS]

This may start in the Golden State, but don't doubt for a New York minute that it won't catch on across the country:

"The California Health Benefit Exchange board is hoping to get retail stores to provide in-store enrollment assistance for the state's [ObamaExchange] ... Members of the ... team believe that retail stores are good vehicles for reaching uninsured residents"

In theory, these "trained and certified" employees would be able to help you choose a melon and a health plan. I have my doubts: one doesn't see a lot of rocket surgeons wearing those bright blue or red, pin-emblazoned vests. On the other hand, given how The ObamaTax policies must be structured, it wouldn't take a rocket surgeon to explain them, either.

Perhaps the model isn't the guy stocking the shelves, but the butcher or pharmacist behind a counter. That seems to me a bit more workable: someone tasked with handling the insurance questions, not where one can find the canned soups.

And I can't help but think that this is doomed to failure: after all, how would the store make money on this deal? They can "provide Tier 2 marketing support, by helping with marketing, education and referral activities, but not with actual enrollment services," but why would they? After all, they're taking all the risk (what if their advice is bad and they're sued or fined?) for zero financial reward.

Of course real, professional agents won't be much better off if they agree to become ObamaExchange Navigators, since "they cannot get compensation from the insurers selling products through a state's PPACA exchange program."

I know - we'll make up for it in volume!
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