On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, ACHD staff attended the annual “State of California Health Care Conference.” The Conference sought to educate and connect private and public sector health care stakeholders, with the goal of discussing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation and the impact on California’s Health Care System.
The keynote speaker, Herb Schultz, Regional Director at the US Department of Health and Human Services, addressed the ACA’s main goals and significant changes coming to health care. From his point of view, the ACA offers a standard national format for the healthcare industry. Education on how this new format will impact consumers and providers is paramount to having a successful launch. Changes also include: safeguards against penalizing small businesses; expanding Medi-Cal to help the impoverished gain subsidies to afford coverage; and federal subsidies to help facilitate the marketplace approach of health plan coverage. Open enrollment begins October 2013 and all agencies involved, especially Covered California, are working hard to prepare.
The first panel of speakers included stakeholders and policy experts in the healthcare field. These panelists discussed:
- How health care reform will affect health insurance coverage;
- The changing cost of healthcare plans for individual insurance;
- Concerns about rising costs to the consumers;
- Younger generations seeing the greatest cost increases for health insurance;
- Older generations seeing decreases in insurance costs
The final panel included non-profit groups and a representative for Assembly Health Committee Chair, Dr. Richard Pan. The discussion focused on the campaigns underway, which seek to provide information to the public at large about the ACA’s impact. Many diverse populations in California need to understand their options prior to the open enrollment launch, only a few months away. The campaigns are reaching out to communities through coordinated media, word of mouth, and brand recognition to educate the most uniformed communities in the state.
ACHD will continue to keep you informed about any policies relating to the ACA, and how Healthcare Districts are impacted. Please contact the Legislative Team with any questions.