It came about last week. I was sitting in a State Conference for insurance professionals. I knew it was coming and I was ready to see if maybe THIS time, I would get more understanding than I had before. There was so much coming at me with regards to health care reform, I seemed to be in a tidal wave of information that seemed to change daily. The good news is, it was not just me. The bad news is, eve n many of those people “in charge” have little to no idea what is the 2,000 + pages of legislation called “health care reform”. A few things I came away with, I will share here…as well as an excellent bit of compiled info on some recent points to keep in mind for the coming months of 2010.1 – Don’t worry if health care reform seems confusing… it is. Many who felt health care reform would be a good thing for the United States, I feel, forgot how many cooks would be in the kitchen on this one. Sure, there were some “head chefs”, but everyone wanted to make it something good for them or the people they represented. Unfortunately, I also feel that all these “chefs” forgot to consider one party of people and that was others. They seemed to forget the masses of people this was supposed to help and instead focused on a plan so riddled with more questions than answers.2 – Health care reform will change even more. If you thought this bill was it, think again. If anything more could go wrong in our political administration I would be shocked. I just don’t see this group of “changers” lasting much past one term in office. With that said, one of the first things that will be adjusted and changed will be health care. No matter who takes over, the bill we currently are so concerned with and the bill that would take until 2014 to completely make itself known will change so dramatically we really won’t know anything until it’s all said and done.3 – We will be the ones to help make sense of it all. I write to many colleagues each and every week and one thing is certain… the insurance professionals will be the ones to be sure that the regular people know what health care reforms will effect the people we get an audience with. We as professional insurance agents and representatives will be the ones on the front lines making sure that our clients understand what is out there and how and/or what to do about it. If we work with companies and their benefits, we will be the ones those human resource professionals and business owners will be turning to for answers. Will you be ready. Start now and take a little each day to be more “up to date” than the agent down the street. It will help you stand out as “the go to” for health care reform answers.4 – We all have to share. If we get some great pieces of information, we need to share it as soon as we can with as many people as we can. The information about health care reform is not meant to be secret, but many have no idea where to get it. If you get a handle on some piece of this legisltation, share it. Share it in an article or a newsletter. Share it in speech or over coffee. When we share information, we keep all the facts on the table and together we can all work this out.Below is a compilation of some items to consider with regards to health care reform. Feel free to pass on any of them that you see fit for you and your situation:- Retiree Health Subsidy. For plans that satisfy various application and submission rules, the federal government will reimburse participating employers 80% of an early retiree’s (age 55 and over but not eligible for Medicare) health claims between $15,000 and $90,000. This program is to be effective as of June 23, 2010, and will cease upon the earlier of exhaustion of its $5 billion in funding or January 1, 2014.- Increased Resources. The Health Reform Bill allocates an additional $300 million to fight health care fraud and abuse over the next 10 years.- Transparency. Effective immediately, physician practices who provide their patients MRI, CT, and PET imaging services are required to inform those patients in writing of other suppliers in the community who can provide those services. The Health Reform Bill also requires disclosure of financial relationships between physicians, hospitals, pharmacists and other providers and manufacturers and distributors of certain drugs, devices, biologicals, and medical supplies.- Community Health Assessment.
Health Care Reform – As of Today
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