Larry Kocot Quoted in “Can Companies Push Unhealthy Workers onto Exchanges?”


Larry Kocot, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "Can Companies Push Unhealthy Workers onto Exchanges?"

Following is an excerpt:

To help reduce their health-insurance costs, some employers are reportedly narrowing their provider networks, so employees have fewer choices for doctors and hospitals, and to reduce the amount they cover on medication copayments. The ACA requires that every insurance plan cover 10 essential health benefits, including prescription medications and ambulatory services. On federal and state-run exchanges, enrollees have the option to choose tiered plans with wider and narrower benefits packages, at different prices.

Larry Kocot, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, says this cost-cutting measure hasn't become mainstream, but says it's not out of the realm of possibility.

"I don't think there is a lot of evidence to support this is happening now," Kocot says. "But the requirement is that employers offer affordable, minimum coverage. Some plan designs could make exchange coverage more attractive. Whether it's intentional or not is something to watch." ?...

"I think we are seeing narrow networks and different benefit designs so that people will make choices and among the choices are the exchanges," Kocot says. "Costs are shifting all over the marketplace so we have to look for new dynamics that may have insidious effects we didn't intend."