Panel of healthcare experts discuss the Affordable Care Act
Mihaylo College’s Executive Council held a breakfast meeting at the Radisson Hotel in Newport Beach on January 25th 2013, to discuss the future of health care reform. The panelists of health care professionals gave attendees a comprehensive look at the Affordable Care Act, while heavily focusing on the impact it will have on businesses.
The president of Nixon Benefits, Karen Nixon, moderated the panel discussion by asking the panelists a variety of questions related to their field of expertise.
CEO and medical director of Atlantis Eyecare, Dr. Dwayne Logan, explained that the current healthcare system gives many individuals access to healthcare through emergency rooms. There are patients that don’t have insurance, but still have access to care. “Doctors have to see a patient, whether they have insurance or not,” said Logan.
Although most people have access to care, Dr. Keith Wilson, regional medical director of Talbert Medical Group, noted that the individuals who access care through the emergency room do not get preventative care. These people receive emergent and episodic care, which is problematic, according to Wilson.
Vice president and general manager of Large Group Anthem Blue Cross, Steven Scott, said the Affordable Care Act primarily targets insurance reform and access to health care. It is an attempt to change the trend on how health care is delivered.
One of the components of the health care reform is to provide eligibility and access to a broader audience of dependents. Scott said that in the past, only full-time students qualified for insurance under their parent’s coverage until the age of 25, but with the new health care act, all children under the age of 26 are now eligible for coverage. The Affordable Care Act is not expected to eliminate that cost of healthcare, what it is expected to do, like most health care reforms, it’s to bend the cost curve, so the escalation does not increase quite as fast.
Owner of Monahan Law Office, Marilyn Monahan, added that the health care act would affect employers depending on the size of the business. Monahan explained the different levels of plans employers can choose for their employees. “The exchange offers different levels, they call them the medal levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, so employers can make decisions as to how generous they want their plan to be,” said Monahan. According to Monahan, some employers are looking to increase their deductible plans to save some money. However, she cautioned that the reform act will have certain limits as to how high a deductible can be.