Health Care, Going Forward

Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 2:59 pm
by Doug Kennedy, KWBE

When employer and individual health insurance policies are required to be Affordable Health Care Act-compliant this coming year, the impact may take some time to wear off.

An official with the Nebraska Health Care Alliance says it’s estimated that premiums in Nebraska could increase an average of about 30%.

:20                  “gonna be shocked”

Paul Utemark, CEO of the Fillmore County Hospital….says some states may see much higher percentage increases in health care premiums.

A handful of people attended a noon hour forum put on by the non-profit Alliance and Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce on the A-C-A……the federal health care reform law that’s largely been criticized by Nebraska politicians.

The Nebraska Health Care Alliance initially formed to promote a state-based health insurance exchange, which failed to materialize.  Now that the A-C-A is here, Utemark expects we’ll see a lot of things businesses and individuals will try… make things work out.

:39                  “for each individual”

Given today’s health care expenses, Utemark says a lot of arguments can be made for what some felt should have been the solution……a universal single-payer system. However, he says that won’t help people adapt now, when it comes to how they pay for their health care.

:25                  “all of this”

Utemark says every family and individual experiences a different situation, when it comes to health care.  That makes it difficult to find a solution that’s acceptable to all.  Opinions on the law differ among health care providers, over how they’ll practice health care in the future.

:31                  “work for them”

Utemark says the Nebraska Health Care Alliance doesn’t pretend to know all the answers to what the long-term effect of the law will be.  So far, about eight-million people have enrolled in health insurance since the ACA went into effect.  

What’s unknown is how many younger people….who tend to get sick less often….will enroll under the program.  Other variables include how prescription drug spending and consolidation in the medical field will affect the future cost of health care.