Gauntlets of Adverse Selection v.s. Healthcare Exchanges

374px-Running_the_gauntletAdverse Selection is the name for a common syndrome in markets where “market participation is a negative signal.”Adverse Selection is the name for a common syndrome in markets where “market participation is a negative signal.”  For example you always gotta worry if they guy trying to buy life insurance is old and sick, or the guy trying to get a mortgage can’t pay for it.

The new healthcare exchanges have this problem.  The “worse,” i.e. most needy, customers are the one’s mostly likely to struggle thru the frustrating the sign-up gauntlet.

This failing of the software architecture and implementation.  It is required by the system’s political architecture.  The tangle of means testing, shopping metaphor, and the federation of insurance companies, states, and federal agencies forces it.  Let’s just pray engineers and their managers can make the gauntlet less daunting.

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