I often teach classes in what I call “Health Insurance 101” here at Blue Cross. I want to make sure our employees have a good understanding of what insurance companies like us do and why we are here.
The BAD NEWS was right there in the headline: “Louisiana loses 19,600 jobs over a 12 month period through May 2016.” (The Advocate, June 17, 2016) Not counted in the headlines are the thousands of hourly employees whose hours are being cut to less than full time, thanks to oil sector slowdowns. It is vitally important during these times of crisis that those most affected do not lose track of their most valuable asset – their health.
The candidates on the campaign trail have their opinions about how to fix the Affordable Care Act (ACA), how to make health insurance marketplaces work better and how to get everybody insured. Every policy wonk and think tank in America has weighed in on the problem. Of course, their solutions are all in alignment with their institutional biases on how healthcare OUGHT to work in America.
Louisiana is extending Medicaid coverage this month to about 400,000 people with incomes below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level, or FPL (that’s about $16,400 a year for a single person or around $33,400 for a family of four). For most folks, this Medicaid coverage will take effect July 1, 2016, which is just a few weeks away.
Editor’s Note: This is the second part of our interview with interim Blue Cross Medical Director Dr. Paul Murphree.
Since 2009, I’ve given more than 800 presentations in Louisiana alone on healthcare reform and cost trends. Almost all of these were to business audiences, whose benefit offerings have been drastically affected by healthcare reform.