By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com
The next time you visit your local shopping center to pick up a few groceries, or get your hair done, you might see a new addition to the store-front line-up: a health insurance retail outlet.
In an age where more and more retail companies are being forced to shut their doors, several of the country’s top health insurers are opening new outlets. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark, and UnitedHealthcare have all recently opened up shop in many areas throughout the country.
What’s the driving force behind this re-colonization of retail space?
The responsible party, according to Erinn Springer, a consumer health insurance expert with GoHealthInsurance.com, is recent health care reform.
The Supreme Court is in the process of considering whether or not the individual health insurance mandate included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act is indeed constitutional. But, as things currently stand, by the 2014, every U.S. citizen must either have health insurance, or face a fine.
Due to the mandate, Springer says that millions of people will soon become first-time insurance buyers. Many of these people will have minimal knowledge of the ins and outs of different plans, but retail clinics are a way for insurance companies to answer questions and provide guidance to confounded consumers.
Health Insurance From a Store, Who Knew? originally appeared on AgingCare.com