Friday, July 17, 2009

We Didn't Need Those Jobs at Assurant Anyway...

It's only jobs. Piffle. Who needs jobs in Wisconsin, anyway??

Ryan: In 2013, let's take Assurant, a large employer in Milwaukee - 800 of which live in the district I represent - Assurant is a big, individual market insurer. After 2013, Assurant can no longer enroll people in their individual market plans. Is that correct?

Bjorklund: Yeah. They can enroll family members of people who are already in and they can choose to participate in the [federal government] exchange, where they will have a large ready market, many of whom will have subsidies behind their backs, and they can operate in there.

Ryan: Okay. Just to ask the question again: outside of the exchange, which is where they are right now, they can no longer enroll people in the individual market plans they have after 2013 if they want to continue the insurance they have outside of the exchange.

Bjorklund: They can continue to enroll people in the policies that they have operating. They cannot create new policies outside of that window, outside of the exchange, but they can choose to operate in the exchange.

Rep. Ryan had more questions, but was shut off.

Obviously, one wants to know whether "the exchange" will require policy terms which are substantially different from Assurant's current offerings. Would those differences (if any) require Assurant to re-engineer its company to comport with the differences? Would Assurant be able to retain its market advantages (currently, relatively inexpensive short-term coverage)?

We don't know yet; the Dear Leader's bureaucracy ain't answering questions.

HT: Sykes

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