What Every Broker and Agent Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act

Prepare yourself. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is changing more than the way Americans buy their health insurance. It will dramatically shift the way physicians purchase their professional liability insurance as well.

“Medicare reimbursements are a huge part of this,” says Brad Rosgen, Healthcare Practice Leader at Burns & Wilcox. “Reimbursements are decreasing for a lot of treatments. A lot of the old ways of doing business are no longer viable.”

In response, many doctors are going from sole practitioner to being part of a larger group in a health system role. Known as Physician Integration, these mergers make it easier to face the challenges of the Affordable Care Act. Conversely, policies will become more complicated. According to Rosgen, “They need to provide coverage for more than just one physician. If a hospital is looking to hire more doctors, it is looking for solutions to provide insurance for them without negatively impacting their current insurance structure.”

These physician groups represent the new normal. As a broker or agent, you should gain intimate knowledge about physician integration-related products i.e. become the source of expertise to your clients. This is where a wholesaler like Burns & Wilcox can partner with you. “The tried and true methods of the past are not necessarily going to work moving forward,” continues Rosgen. “I would look to partner with people that are interested in looking at alternative structures that change the way they traditionally thought about business and how it is evolving now. Keep an open mind and think about all the options on the table.”

Perhaps your client is initiating or being asked to join one of these groups. Maybe your client is a healthcare facility looking for a policy that insures a new pool of doctors. Whatever the case may be, you want to be the one winning the business. It should be noted carriers are eager to increase their portfolio of products by writing larger doctor groups. They are interested in expanding out and working with hospitals as they employ more and more physicians. By leveraging the expertise of someone like Brad Rosgen, you can work that to your advantage and remain competitive.

Are you prepared for the Affordable Care Act? In addition to the growing pains of Obamacare, societal concerns and political issues have made it downright daunting in trying to understand today’s healthcare insurance industry. You, however, do not have to go at this alone. “What we have done at Burns & Wilcox is develop a team of medical professional liability experts who focus exclusively and solely on the healthcare industry,” says Rosgen.

“We have been able to create custom and creative insurance products to meet those needs.”

Questions to Ask Your Client

  • How are you planning on handling the new challenges that the Affordable Care Act brings to the industry?
  • What are the biggest challenges to your practice’s continued success?
  • How are you currently managing the new suite of risks like privacy/cyber and Medicare Recovery Audits?

With the answers to these questions, an experienced wholesaler like Burn & Wilcox can develop a more complete professional liability solution.