Watch for Health Care Changes

Health Care ManagementIn the Wall Street Journal, Avery Johnson states ‘Health care reform is here to stay—for the foreseeable future’.  This fall’s “open enrollment” period will be one of the most important for the millions of Americans with health insurance through their employer.  Consumers need to be aware of the upcoming changes as some of their choices have changed.

2013 will see more of the changes brought by Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act.  Caps on flexible spending accounts will be a significant change. Easy-to-read plan summaries will be another health care change for next year. Annual spending limits imposed by health insurance companies will be eliminated and earlier reforms such as adding adult children to parents’ plans offer new options to consumers.

Many of the biggest changes, such as health insurance exchanges and tax credits to help people buy coverage won’t be implemented until 2014. The provisions already in place could still impact any changes consumers want to make to their health insurance.

One area of concern is that 13% of companies are planning to raise their employees’ contributions to health care costs by five percentage points or more, and 42% are planning premium increases of one to five percentage points.  On the other hand, the pace of that growth is slowing. Employer health-care costs are expected to rise by 5.3% in 2013, compared with 5.9% this year, according to a July survey of employers.

An important change for consumers for 2013 is a new form called a “Summary of Benefits and Coverage.”  The health care law requires health insurance plans to provide a summary that is a simple description of how a plan works and what is or is not covered.  There is no fine print allowed in this summary, allowing consumers to compare plans more easily.

Health Care Management students and graduates from Globe University are getting up to date information on the law changes as they are being decided and implemented.  Check out our website for more information on this dynamic and growing field.

Jerry Lovrien has held positions of Chief Executive Officer at health and behavioral health facilities in Minnesota and Washington State. He served successfully as State Director/Commissioner of Health and Behavioral Health in Georgia, West Virginia and Minnesota. Jerry has taught high school through graduate courses and is currently an Instructor with Globe University