It's important to note the differences between exchange policies and typical employer-based plans.
Most exchange policies use limited networks, but prevention services like check-ups are free, and treatment for chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease are standard. Workers also have skin in the game, with so-called "silver" plans requiring that the insured pay 20% of any treatment costs.
By contrast many employers still offer plans that pay a set percentage on everything or require straight co-pay. This means there are co-pays on prevention services, but no limits on treatment options.
People on exchange plans won't be able to pick the high-priced doctor, or the high-priced hospital, or the fancy treatments those on employer-paid plans take for granted. No insured tummy tucks or facelifts or out-of-the-box treatments for you.But with proper management and a wide spectrum of patients, including young "invincibles" (about one-fourth of the total) to spread out the high-risk pool, the hope is these are policies insurance companies can make a profit on. Over time the ObamaCare exchanges will transfer responsibility for health insurance from employers to employees. Assuming these policies work for insurers, expect a steady stream of low-wage employers to push employees that way. The point of the April unemployment statistics is that, now, again thanks to the exchanges, those employees can push back. It's a big story, but not the one you might have expected. The scales of employment have shifted. At the time of publication the author owned no shares in companies mentioned in this story.