Rumors have an intriguing side effect. Whether true or not, they open your mind to possibilities that never before existed. Earlier this year, reports circulated that one of the nation’s most popular mass merchandisers considered building a private health insurance exchange.

At first, the concept sounded ludicrous. Imagine throngs of shoppers clogging the checkout line, negotiating details of family insurance policies with the cashier as they toss bathroom supplies and produce onto a conveyor belt. OK, we know in reality it wouldn’t function this way, but for industry veterans, initially, the proposition didn’t make sense. Unless you think outside the big box. From this perspective, it’s a great idea.

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