Michael Lujan, Director of Sales and Marketing Covered California, Bruce Jugan, President BenefitsCafe.com, David Zanze President Pinnacle Claims Management
In Michael’s presentation to CAHU, he said something that struck me as particularly insightful. He advised us to “get the facts.” We should be comfortable saying: “here is what we know now and here is what has not been determined. We don’t have the information to answer all of the questions… at this time. ” Much is in flux with the ACA and we should accept that many good questions do not have answers – yet.
Michael stressed that Covered California is an “active purchaser” and has required each insurance company (“Qualified Health Plan” QHP) that applied for inclusion in the exchange to offer a unique value to consumers. Michael explained that many of the QHPs are regional and may only offer coverage in a few counties inCalifornia. Agents are accustomed to representing health insurance plans that offer coverage throughout the state. That will change.
Aside from Michael’s remarks, I know that approximately 33 QHPs submitted letters of interest to Covered California for inclusion into the exchange. This number is vastly more than the big 6 or 7 health insurance companies currently offering coverage in California (Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net, Kaiser, United Health Care and See Change). Interestingly, Aetna and United Health Care have announced that they will not participate in the California Exchange (HBEX).
Michael also stressed that Covered California must be financially self-sustaining by 2015. At this point I had to leave Michael’s presentation because I had an opportunity to meet with Assembly Member Cristina Garcia, the newly elected representative of the 58th Assembly district, which includes Montebello, where BenefitsCafe.com is located.