Commentary: Health Care

commentaryIf you’re like me, you’ve thought a lot about healthcare in the past few months. Employers and employees alike are trying to navigate a system of new rules and regulations that were briefly written in 906 pages of law. Although I haven’t read the Affordable Care Act myself, I’ve been collecting information, asking questions and trying to be thoughtful about how Obamacare will affect my business as well as my employees.

I’m concerned about the people who work in my organization and want to offer them healthcare. I can still remember the year I was able to offer coverage to those who work with me. I slept better at night knowing that if they needed to be seen by a doctor or heaven-forbid go to a hospital, it was one less worry they would have. Each year after that, I would hold my breath when getting the following year’s rates. As you probably know, it would increase year after year and has become one of the most difficult aspects of running my small business. We paid the full premium for several years until the rate increases forced me to share the coverage costs with employees. Unfortunately, the share they contribute has also increased over the years.

Throughout this issue, we present articles that give perspective on the healthcare changes and potential challenges taking place in this next year.Chris O’Leary, president of Shinberg Insurance Agency in East Lansing and Rob Fowler, president of Small Business Association of Michigan help answer questions. Asking difficult questions and seeking advice from those who have spent the time learning the ins and outs of the law is going to give you the ability to get through the next few years successfully.

I’m sure that the role out of the health insurance marketplace, an online shopping portal for healthcare, will create additional questions and confusion. Trying to move so many people into a system not designed to accommodate the new influx will be interesting to say the least. There are tax credits, subsidies, fines and policies set to change everything and impact everyone. I encourage you to check out the newly launched “He Said/She Said” opinion column by a couple of people who have a strong desire to share ideas about the importance and challenges of healthcare.

Even though healthcare is on everyone’s mind, there are a few other things going on out there that you should focus on. As business people, financial matters are part of our fabric. This month, I invite you to attend the GLBM Financial Expo presented by PNC on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the University Club in Lansing. This event will showcase experts and speakers who will give sound financial perspective. This is a must-attend event! Go to www.glbmfinancialexpo.com for tickets and details.

Be dynamic in all you do,

Tiffany Dowling | Publisher

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