BlogsFebruary 2017 ACA Seminar Recap

February 15, 2017, by Ryan Miller

On February 8, 2017, Centennial hosted 100 CFOs and HR professionals at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, with high hopes of helping them to understand how we arrived where we are with the Affordable Care Act, and where we are likely to go under a new presidential administration. To bring as much expertise and clarity as possible, we invited Peter Marathas Jr, Chief Legal Officer with The Alera Group and James Slotnick, AVP with Sunlife Financial to speak in panel format alongside Centennial President Matthew Hanson.

Here are a few highlights of the event:

Knowing why the ACA came to be, and how we got to where we are, is helpful in understanding the implications of any repeal or reform on the part of the Trump administration. Both our experts weighed in on our past history and came to similar conclusions.

  • There were good intentions to provide healthcare to all, but unfortunately the wrong approach was taken in achieving that desire.
  • One of the biggest issues from day 1 was a lack of bipartisan support when creating the law.
  • Despite the individual mandate, the Affordable Care Act could not attract enough young, healthy people to participate. This created a health system heavily loaded with the most expensive population to insure. This has been a leading contributor to premium increases.
  • Insurance companies abandoned the Affordable Care Act due to an ability to sustain the major losses from large and increasing medical claims.
  • Subsidies are helpful to some, but being abused by many.
  • It never solved the true problem with the health insurance industry, which is health care and not health coverage.

Looking ahead to what has been claimed by proponents of repeal and replace, here were some important takeaways.

  • While the Cadillac Tax (as we know it) is likely to go away, there is most definitely something that will have to replace that proposed tax revenue. Likewise, any other potential reduction or removal of taxes (typically included as penalties) may be repealed but will have to be replaced by something else if we are to fund healthcare in the United States.
  • It looks as though most plans include removing the individual mandate, but the employer mandate will remain.
  • Prescription drugs are a large contributor to exorbitant health care costs. Something must be, and looks to in fact be, done as it relates to creating a more free market for drug manufacturing.
  • Bipartisan support will be important to the success of the law, and to the available Senate seats up for grabs in the 2018 mid-term election.
  • Even if there was a full repeal of the ACA (though that’s highly unlikely), many states like California will have the power to continue with their own healthcare marketplace.

All in all, we have a long road ahead as it relates to improving healthcare in the United States. Regardless of the plan that replaces or reforms the ACA, none of this can be solved with a simple stroke of the pen. It will take a collaborative effort from the government, the healthcare industry, and consumers like you and I.

We want to thank everyone that attended our seminar, and especially want to thank Peter Marathas Jr and James Slotnick for their (entertaining) expertise.

For more information on the direct implications to your business as well as other healthcare compliance, please feel free to contact us directly at (714) 740-1111 ex 274.

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