Insurance professionals and others in the health industry attended the Greater Atlantic City Chamber event in Somers Point Wednesday to better understand the highly criticized bill, also known as Obamacare.
The name "Affordable Care" is an oxymoron, said welcome speaker Bob Marshall.
His opinion was supported by the complex methods of calculation and various penalties and taxes in the 2,000-page bill as explained by the panel.
Ward Sanders, keynote speaker and president of the N.J. Association of Health Plans, said that New Jersey is not being thrown a curveball because it is one of five states that had many similar regulations, found in the bill, in place for some time.
Some relief from minimum coverage requirements include credits of up to 50 percent for companies with smaller than 25 full time employees, as well as exclusions for those whose religious beliefs do not permit them to buy insurance, said Michael Greenwald, director of corporate tax at Freidman, LLP.
“The ultimate goal is to get good healthcare” to everyone, Sander said. This benefits emergency care institutions especially since they are required by law to treat any and every one.
Until now, many healthcare companies have faced the problem of a pay-by-service model, which pushes them to offer more services, Sanders said. The new trend is to focus on preventative care.
“The hospital is not the center of our universe anymore. It’s just a cog in our wheel,” said Steven Blumberg, senior vice president of health solutions at AtlantiCare.
Vaughan Reale, executive vice president of employee benefits at CBIZ-AB, said the trend is also moving toward coverage focused on each individual, in the eyes of the employer, rather than worrying about a number of dependents. This is because the health bill makes employers equally responsible for ensuring healthcare coverage for individuals that qualify, and therefore the employers can also suffer penalties for not offering coverage.