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Health Reform at the Intersection of Government and Markets

As you know, health care reform is among the top agenda items for President Obama, and many industry experts believe that some level of reform will be in place by year end.

This week, I attended a two day conference sponsored by the Healthcare Industry Networks of Harvard Business School and YPO/WPO in Washington DC. Speakers included Senator Ron Wyden, Senate Finance Committee member and author of The Healthy Americans Act bill; Michael Cannon, Director of Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and several other industry experts participating in the evolution of a new health care system.

There are a number of bills put forth that would drastically change the way health care is offered and delivered in the US. While the likelihood of any one bill being enacted in its entirety is minimal, health care reform does have bipartisan support and Congress will do a “mark up” so that there will be legislation that will pass the House and the Senate. Regardless of which parts of which bill “wins”, there will be significant impact on employers and individuals and the way in which they plan for their health care.

The major focus is on universal health care. As there are more than 40 million uninsured individuals in the US, the ability to offer affordable health insurance to all is the goal. In addition, the means by which care is given may change dramatically as efficiency and cost containment become important factors in the new system. Wellness and preventative care will become a significant part of an individual’s health plan.

Health care planning, while certainly important today, will take on an even greater role in an individual’s wealth management plan. As more health insurance and care become self directed, individuals will need to take ownership of their care and that of their families. As Wealth Advisors, it makes sense to add a healthcare planning component to your platform. As an employer, help your employees with this difficult decision making process by offering a health care planner in your suite of employee benefits.

For additional information, contact EAB HealthWorks.