On March 23, 2010, the health insurance industry was thrown a pretty significant “curve ball.” Many in the employee benefits consulting world felt that we would be standing in the unemployment line when this law was fully implemented.
As more was revealed about the law, many people felt as though they would have to go to the government to receive health insurance. As a result, most of us have been banking on someone to keep the law from coming to fruition (Supreme Court, Mitt Romney, etc.). But, it looks like this law will be fully implemented on schedule … Oh wow, is this right? Wrong!
My late father was a very wise man, and he taught his four children a lot about life in small, one sentence nuggets of sheer brilliance. He was known for tackling any mechanical problem with his vast experience and fundamental understanding of HOW things work mechanically. In confidence, he would explain that when he began working on the problem, he had no idea what the solution would look like (or even if it would work). Inevitably his solution would in fact solve the issue at hand and would rarely fall within the guidelines of how “the book” said it should be done. He would give me one of his nuggets of wisdom, “I had to do something son. The problem wasn’t going to fix itself.”
Thankfully, while many of us have been counting the ways health care reform will change our lives and those around us, there have been a few people that have “done something.” As we approach the implementation phase of this law (regardless of our opinion, it is the law), we are beginning to see solutions introduced to the market. Some of these solutions are actual products, some address the financing of a health plan, some solutions engage in the strict management of claims within a plan and some solutions are based on the long term strategy of a health plan as a whole.
Much like my father did, the people building these solutions are relying on their experience and foundational understanding of the health insurance world. They understand what will have an impact on costs and how they can structure a benefits plan to both comply with the law and be affordable. They have not been afraid to “DO” something about this issue. They understand that “the problem isn’t going to fix itself.”
My point is that while the manner in which most of the country receives its health coverage will be very different in the future, there will be solutions that will work. They probably won’t look like anything we have seen in the marketplace before, but they will work.
We just have to “DO” something about it because “the problem isn’t going to fix itself.”