Ok, it's not that entirely shocking. But we are entering March and March 31st is the final day to enroll into a health insurance program according to the Affordable Care Act. The latest enrollment figures have shown that around 4 million people have enrolled into the program.
While this is good news, one of the leading architects of the Affordable Care Act recently spoke about "The death of the insurance company" as he called it. In this Affordable Care Act post by Ezekiel Emanuel, Emanuel shockingly admits that the times are changing over the next few years:
But because of health care reform, new actors will force insurance companies to evolve or become extinct. The accountable care organizations (ACOs) (which I discuss in Chapter 8 of my new book) and hospital systems will begin competing directly in the exchanges and for exclusive contracts with employers. These new organizations are delivery systems with networks of physicians and hospitals that provide comprehensive care.
So be prepared to kiss your insurance company good-bye forever.
So, what does this mean in the short term and the long term? In the short term, many people may have noticed a change in their health insurance coverage. Besides a change in monthly premiums (which is normal), some covered insurance people have lost their primary care physician or specialist. Others lost or gained certain coverages. While this may be a small inconvenience, the long term issue could affect you drastically.
What about your medical records?
What about your the convenience of knowing your primary care physician for years?
What about being able to conviently schedule your appointments all at once in one location?
Before we discuss the long term issues, if you did happen to lose your primary care physician or specialist, don't worry, you still have time to act. To help with all of the Affordable Care Act changes, CareSync was created to bring convenience and freedom to patients and allow them to have easy access to their records, set up appointments, and allow patients the ability express their medical story with their caregivers. For more info, click the image below.
As we get back to the long term issues, Emanuel mentioned that there is going to be a huge disruption to the way patients receive healthcare and how the insured will be covered. Insurance companies will evolve into an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) that integrates with a hospital system or will be forced to become extinct as their position as an intermediary disappears.
Emanuel mentions this disruption will take place over the next few years. Many people have already noticed the changes in their local healthcare and it is going to continue to have a ripple affect. As companies become more competitive, the probability that you will lose your some part of your health coverage (whether it be your primary care physician, specialist, or health system) will grow in the short term until the landscape clears up in a few years.
The patients who take the small steps now like having access to the medical records and having the ability to tell their medical story will have a major advantage in the end.
Are you scared or nervous for what Emanuel just wrote? Remember, he is one of the architects of the new healthcare act, so this is his vision. Have you already had to switch physicians or hospitals because of changes to your healthcare plan?
Leave a comment below about your thoughts!