|Impact of healthcare reform law one year later|
|Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:23|
Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, children up to age 26 can be under their parents' plans, and lifetime limits have been eliminated.
But the executive vice president of Regional Health says the biggest change Regional has seen already is a negative one, a reduction in Medicare reimbursements.
Joe Sluka says, "They do an inflation adjustment every year that kind of helps keep up with the cost of inflation, and so what they have done is, it's called a market basket adjustment, and they have reduced that and will continue to reduce that over the next four to five years."
Local physician Dr. Nancy Babbitt admits that the impact on the cost of healthcare will not be known for some time, but she believes most of the reforms so far are good. Babbitt says Medicare patients who once fell into the prescription drug "doughnut hole" are now able to save money on their medications, and many more patients are getting the health coverage they need. She says politicians who oppose the reforms should talk to those people.
Dr. Nancy Babbitt says, "But I think when it comes to just taking care of human beings, if they spent time in my shoes, they would see that human beings are really benefiting from these changes."
Full implementation of the Affordable Care Act is slated for the year 2014.