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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:21 PM


Who's going to run your 'health insurance exchange'? Would you believe -- Walmart?

Wal-Mart is exploring the idea of building a private health insurance exchange tailored to offer cheaper health insurance to small businesses, a vice president told Orlando Business Journal Jan. 11.

Marcus Osborne, vice president of health and wellness payer relations for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spoke to OBJ after his keynote speech at the Foundation of Associated Industries of Florida’s 2013 Health Care Affordability Summit. Osborne said Wal-Mart wants to work with insurers and managed care companies to find new, low-cost health insurance options tailored for small companies, which historically have limited options.

The idea is to offer those products through a health insurance exchange — or as Osborne said, simply a marketplace — that would leverage Wal-Mart’s buying and marketing power to make the exchanges widely available and used. “It would allow small employers to piggyback Wal-Mart,” Osborne said. “We haven’t got it all figured out, but it’s one of the things we’re looking at.”

Central Florida is already at the cusp of what experts consider a tectonic shift on how health insurance benefits are offered: From defined benefits to defined contributions, where employers are able to contain costs by paying fixed sums to employees and having them shop in an exchange. It’s been equated to the shift from pensions — the defined benefit — to 401K plans — defined contributions from companies.


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Reply Who's going to run your 'health insurance exchange'? Would you believe -- Walmart? (Original post)
HiPointDem Jan 2013 OP
upaloopa Jan 2013 #1
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #2
cthulu2016 Jan 2013 #3
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #4

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 03:32 PM

1. Cheap insurance is not accepted by many

providers because the reimbursement is so low. Many providers simply refuse to contract with them.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:21 PM

3. Good. Given our reality, why the heck not?

Walmart is very good at administration and price competition, and I am not real worried about Walmart out-competing the lovable mom&pop health insurance company in town because there isn't one.

The bad things about Walmart do not bear on group health insurance. With health coverage huge scale is good. The bigger the group, the lower the rates. (With single payer being the biggest possible group, and thus the most desirable)

If Walmart puts together a hugegroup of Walmart people that small businesses can buy into, adding even more scale, it's win-win.

And I cannot get too worked up about Walmart making a profit on health coverage... as opposed to who? Aetna? Wellpoint? Since we have no public option it is all for-profit.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:21 PM

4. I can get worked up about it; walsuck is already the biggest company in the US & in the world.


I don't want them to get bigger; I don't want them in insurance & medical care; I don't want them getting public money.

if walmart is a big player in obamacare, obamacare is an a-1 fraud.

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