Group Health and Health Care Reform
President Barack Obama has signed major health insurance changes into law. Group Health has long supported comprehensive health care reform that provides coverage for every citizen. Now that reform has finally passed, you may be asking how it impacts you. While many implementation details are still unknown, here are general descriptions of changes you can expect.
What Health Care Reform Means for You
If you have:
Health insurance through your employer
Very little will change. Some new benefits include no lifetime dollar limits on policies, elimination of copays for some preventive care, and older children may stay on their parents' policies until age 26.
Individual/family insurance you purchase on your own
You will be able to purchase health insurance through a state "exchange" starting in 2014. Although the exchanges have yet to be designed, they are intended to provide more affordable and subsidized individual and small business plans.
The "doughnut hole" in prescription drug benefits you currently receive will be gradually filled.
Medicaid coverage is expanded to cover more people. Adults without children will be eligible for the first time in 2014.
You may be eligible for expanded enrollment in Medicaid. By 2014 you will be able to purchase affordable coverage in an "exchange." Those who do not purchase coverage in 2014 will pay a penalty.
Transforming Health Care
At Group Health, our members are already experiencing the kind of next-generation care that national, state, and local administrations would like to see available to more people in the country. Practices such as electronic medical records, the medical home, patient-centered care, comparative effectiveness, and shared decision-making are already at work, creating the exceptional care experience our members value.
Learn more about how Group Health is modeling best practices and helping to guide the conversation about health care reform
Reinventing Primary Care
Accumulating evidence throughout the world shows that primary care based systems like we have at Group Health consistently have better medical outcomes at lower cost. We are making our system even stronger by adopting principles of the medical home.
Health Information Technology
President Obama and others have cited electronic medical records (EMR) as a practice that can reduce health care costs and improve care. Group Health recognized this nearly 10 years ago and now has one of the most fully developed clinical information systems in the country.
Comparative effectiveness studies look at how well tests, treatments, and preventive actions work in real clinical settings. The federal government is calling for comparative effectiveness research as a way to base medicine — and health care reform — on the best evidence to ensure that people receive the most effective health care available.