Health Insurance Exchanges Could Help Poor Receive $100B in Government Benefits

Health insurance exchanges could help poor people receive more than $100 billion in government benefits for which they are eligible, according to a Crain's New York Business report.

The idea is spearheaded by BeneStream, the brainchild of Hudson TG's Ben Geyerhahn. The company would use family composition and income data recorded by the exchanges to make sure that people who receive health insurance under healthcare reform also receive other benefits for which they are eligible, including food stamps and welfare.

The company has received a $200,000 grant from the Ford foundation to design a business plan for the venture. The company will make money by charging a nominal fee for each transaction.

For years, social service organizations have encouraged poor people to apply for government benefits for which they qualify, but the applications can be complicated and many people do not even realize they are eligible.

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