Marty Richman, CEO of the Jamestown Regional Medical Center, introduced Pat Bellmore at the Rotary meeting. Bellmore is from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Dakota and works primarily with national as well as large business health insurance accounts.
Bellmore gave a review of some of the coverage requirements with the new health plan in mind. Some of the requirements for basic coverage will be lifetime and annual limits. In the past there was a $200,000 limit, now there will be no limit as current plans start in 2010 which are already in effect. Dependent coverage does go up to age 26. Pre-existing conditions are now in place for children up to age 19 who cannot be discriminated against in group plans. Additional items to be effective in 2014 will include that all pre-existing conditions plans cannot exclude. Waiting periods are limited to 90 days. All small group plans are required to meet the essential health benefit package. Of course, there will be state mandates that will continue to be used and may be grandfathered in.
In addition, plans must report on such areas as health outcomes, readmissions, resident safety, wellness and other areas. In 2014, if there is a group of over 50 full-time employees, employers must offer minimum coverage with no minimum contribution or penalty if the employee qualifies for subsidies. These were just a few of the items that will be forthcoming.
Bellmore said there was some concern by employers and employees when the health reform came about that the government wanted all the employers to put on the employee’s W-2 form the employer’s paid portion of their health insurance. Congress removed this stipulation and it is not a requirement for employers.
Bellmore also said clinics are going to more electronic records and that information will be able to go with the employee which will be a major change because today when a person moves from one clinic to the other the records don’t always follow unless the person specifically asks. In closing, Bellmore said that the rules may bring a challenge, but overall most of the things that are directly concerning group health insurance benefits people already currently have, and so employees and employers shouldn’t see a lot of change.
The July 19 meeting was presided over by Doug Frohlich, new president for 2011-2012. Darrell Losing gave the invocation. Gary Riffe and Bev Kennison led the music. Katie Anderson collected numerous “Happy Dollars” for Rotary projects.
Allan O’Neil was a guest at the meeting. He is the chief financial officer of Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
Frohlich thanked Richman and staff for the tours of the Jamestown Regional Medical Center given to the Rotary members at the last meeting.
Mark Olson has filled the last vacancy on the board of directors. Dave Smette, district governor-elect, shared on a recent meeting he attended sponsored by Rotary International on youth exchange. The way the program works in the United States is if a particular district has a hundred exchange students wanting to come into their district, then that district also has to have 100 students going out of their district, going overseas or to foreign countries. This has been a challenge in some situations as many foreign students are anxious to come and study in the United States. Smette also said there were more than 2,000 students from all over the world as well as the United States at this conference.
Mike Smyth has the program for today, Harvey Huber is in charge of music and the invocation, and Duane Dunn is the sergeant-at-arms.