“Obviously, they will have to find an alternative plan, which may be more expensive and which may have a different network or formulary,” Newhouse told Patient Daily News.
Likewise, competition in the health insurance marketplace could be impacted to some degree.
“Competition will certainly be less, but I believe the co-ops that closed mainly had small market shares, in which case competition would not be greatly affected,” Newhouse told Patient Daily News.
At the same time, Newhouse is currently researching several areas, including the role of private plans in Medicare, a randomized experiment in giving the uninsured a Medicaid plan and changes in oncologist reimbursement for chemotherapy.
Newhouse is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard. He is
also director of the Boston-based university’s Division of Health
Policy Research and Education, chairman of the Committee on Higher
Degrees in Health Policy and director of the Interfaculty Initiative in
Such an illustrious career has given Newhouse a comprehensive perspective about specific aspects of the health industry in the U.S. Moving forward, he also has some expectations about the overall future of the nation's online health insurance marketplace.
“The online marketplace is just that: a technology for purchasing insurance policies -- just as there are online platforms for purchasing airline tickets,” he said. “For the next several years at least, I expect most Americans will continue to get their insurance through their employer, although employment-based insurance has been and will continue to be in a gradual decline.”
When asked whether any potentially worthwhile health marketplace solutions have been offered by the current field of candidates vying for the 2016 U.S. presidency, Newhouse was succinct.
“I expect we will modify the Affordable Care Act in some fashion,” he told Patient Daily News. “But to say what is worthwhile requires a level of specificity that one generally does not find in a campaign.”