By Robert Porter
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will bring big changes for all Americans. During this transitional period and into the foreseeable future, people in the United States will need help to understand and interpret the new laws and regulations, as well as to obtain additional information about their healthcare options. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is charged with overseeing the administration of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, the healthcare call center industry is poised to help Americans to gain an understanding of its real-life impact on their insurance, costs, and level of care.
The ACA requires Medicaid agencies and health insurance exchanges (HIE) to impart information by conducting outreach and assistance initiatives for the public, business owners, and corporate human resource departments. This is a huge undertaking. As expected, there has already been a surge of demand for knowledgeable, interactive live agents from healthcare call centers to handle the influx of overflow and high call volumes twenty-four hours a day. This will only increase over time. Many Medicaid and HIE offices will continue to outsource to telehealth call centers with customer service agents trained in healthcare. These agents, in addition to being apprised of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, are also knowledgeable on the broad topic of the ACA. This makes them indispensable during this major shift in healthcare coverage in the United States of America.
As the ACA is implemented, many people will have questions and concerns about how it affects their insurance policies. The healthcare exchanges, and the call centers they utilize, will assist those individuals in sorting through and navigating the enrollment process. In addition, bilingual live agents are poised to address consumer questions and facilitate prompt enrollment for many thousands of non-English speakers.
Many states now have a call center in place with a dedicated toll-free phone number to aid those seeking to unravel the complexities of the ACA program. Multiple call center facilities have garnered government contracts to route 800 number calls and field caller inquiries.
The ACA allows for a health insurance exchange – essentially a clearinghouse of medical insurance information – to provide its enrollees and prospects with competitive rates. Americans can shop for the best price and service under the HIE umbrella.
Alongside the efforts of the DHHS, non-profit organizations like Enroll America and leading call centers continue to ramp up their agent training programs to include extensive knowledge of the ACA. This will enable virtual receptionists from qualified call centers to communicate a clear, simple breakdown of important information that will affect each caller’s decision-making process.
Every American, from self-employed individuals to private industry business leaders, is wondering how the ACA will affect their lives and business dealings. Call center services with live staff will help the public comprehend their ACA options and choose wisely.
[From the October/November 2013 issue of AnswerStat magazine]