By Murray Halperin
“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” – Demosthenes
Sometimes great opportunities are clouded by controversy and great opportunity is at your Credit Union’s front door now, packaged in what is called the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This is an opportunity to provide health insurance options for credit union employees and an opportunity to provide education about the new Affordable Care Act to business owners, associations, not-for-profits and all individuals. It is an opportunity to offer health, life and senior insurance products to every one of your members and their families wherever they are in the world as long as they have access to a phone or computer. All of this can be accomplished through your Credit Union’s Private Health Care Exchange, Health Insurance Call Center or using outside health care sales professionals! This and more, is what the Affordable Care Act has brought to your front door. Is your Credit Union prepared to open that door?
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
We all know how controversial the Affordable Care Act has become. Instead of writing at length about how we arrived here, I recommend a praiseworthy video written and produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation and narrated by Cokie Roberts, news commentator for ABC News and NPR as well as a member of Kaiser’s Board of Trustees, called “Health Reform Hits Main Street.” I urge you to take a few minutes to listen to this impartial and unbiased video about the ACA. You can find it on YouTube.
With all the political hype this topic has engendered over the past few years, many of us have not had the opportunity to examine all of the ramifications of the ACA and how it will change the way health and life insurance are marketed and purchased. Millions of people are going to be affected by this new law. Some experts estimate that over the next few years as many as 100 million people will be shopping for health insurance. It is further understood that a significant number of small business owners—especially those with fewer than 50 employees—may discontinue offering any healthcare option to their employees and even large corporations are seeking alternatives to providing health insurance to their employees. This has the potential to provide CUs with a huge opportunity to expand their base of loyal members, SEGS and businesses.