The 16 million Americans expected to gain health insurance in 2014 represent a new customer base with a demographic profile and health needs that differ from the current insured population. This will change patient behaviors, provider and payer operations, and product offerings in unknown ways. Healthcare organizations need to stay in front of both existing and emerging risks to succeed in this new marketplace.
While assuming risk is traditionally the role of the insurer, providers are also sharing an increasing amount of risk as value-based purchasing replaces fee-for-service. Although the newly insured are likely to be relatively young, healthy, single, working adults, providers and payers should nevertheless prepare for an influx of patients who have gone for long periods without healthcare and are likely to have long-overlooked medical needs. Companies seeking to capture this new customer base must work quickly to understand the distinct needs of this group and develop creative outreach programs, more targeted products, and stronger patient support.
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