June 28th, 2012 is a date that will not live on in infamy or otherwise. On that date The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) took the path of least resistance, declaring that The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) is Constitutional, while tearing the claws from the so-called “mandate’s” enforceability. In one fell swoop, SCOTUS both locked PPACA in as the law of the land, and eliminated the government’s ability to enforce the mandate against individuals. With the smoke clearing, and exchanges advancing nationwide, the eyes of regulators now shift to employers and self-funded plans. State commissioners, who since ERISA’s passage in 1974 have sought to control self-funded benefits, now wave the Obamacare flag in efforts to advance their long held desires. As the cost of providing insurance increases, and employers – long since thought untouchable by the self-funded industry – must decide between exiling employees to the exchange, or sampling self-funding, self-funded plans that implement cost containment solutions can position themselves to reap the rewards of this paradigm shift.
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The US Supreme Court upheld the sweeping 2010 healthcare law, declaring that Obama and Congress acted within their powers in requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance.
The ruling reaffirms the most ambitious and controversial undertaking of President Obama’s first term: attempting to guarantee that most of the 45 million Americans without insurance will get better access to medical care.
Well, it’s that time of year where here in New England the leaves are turning colors, the summer outdoor furniture is being put away, and by the time I leave the office its already dark outside. So depressing, yet I feel so inspired by what I see happening across the industry. People are getting creative with their cost containment ideas and I see more and more innovative approaches to reducing the cost of health care. But we have to be diligent in how we do these things.
Fall is in the air here in New England but the conference schedule is heating up earlier than ever for me. I’m doing the nationwide tour and the focus from audience questions is on two areas – health care reform and self funding. The same people who ask me about reform then follow up with whether self funding is a good move to lower their costs. The interest in self funding is the highest I have seen in my life time so we here at The Phia Group will continue to preach the virtues of this option and how to make it work right.
What a month it has been. Typical, not much happens in our industry in July but not this year! Less than two weeks after the historic decision, we here at The Phia Group did a webinar on the Supreme Court case with the largest audience we have ever had. Its great to know we are trusted for our efforts on behalf of all of you.