Steve Weld presents at Affordable Care Act update seminar
September 29, 2015
On Tuesday, September 29, Steve Weld was a co-presenter at an Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Seminar entitled “Affordable Care Act Update; What Employers Need to Know”. This is the fourth in a series of seminars offered by the Chamber to its members since the passage of the Act. Steve has presented at all four.
Weld advised that the uninsured rate in the U.S. has dropped from 20.3%in 2012 to 12.6% in 2015. Thus, there are nearly 17.6 million newly insured people. If the goal of the Act was to decrease the number of uninsured people, the Act has been successful.
However, Weld reported that what remains unknown is the Act’s impact on health care costs. Clearly, there is a cost inherent in serving 17.6 million more insureds – a cost which is reduced by implementation of the exchanges and offset by taxes on uninsured individuals (the individual mandate) and employers who do not offer affordable health care which meets certain minimal requirements (the employer mandate).
Weld reported that the Act has resulted in the consolidation within the insurance industry and among health care providers, including hospitals, but the jury is out on whether that will reduce or increase the cost of health care. Weld summarized two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases and then focused on the implementation and potential impact of the “Cadillac” tax scheduled to go into effect in 2018.