People around here seem to be pretty anxious about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Legislators are worried too. This week the House Health Care and Wellness Committee met to receive an update on implementation. The Health Care Exchange seems to be the biggest concern of policy makers right now. The purpose of the exchange is to provide affordable coverage for individuals and small employers. The due date to have established an exchange is January 1, 2014. Legislator’s questions are about the minimum benefits that must be covered by providers in the exchange. This will likely not be resolved until the Feds issue regulations sometime in 2012.
If you too are feeling a bit queasy about this health business, there is no need to go the doctor for advice. Let me share some home remedy resources you can use to check on our State’s progress. I keep up on the “Next Steps in Washington” by looking at the Governor’s Website at http://www.governor.wa.gov/priorities/healthcare/reform.asp
Additionally, the Office of Insurance Commissioner website has information about current plans and activities and how they impact consumers including a list of his employees that answer questions (if they are still employed to answer the phone) at http://www.insurance.wa.gov/consumers/reform/national_health_care_reform.shtml
And, I follow the Joint Legislative Select Committee on Health Care Implementation which is considering the insurance plans to low income people, the health exchanges, and workforce issues at http://www.leg.wa.gov/JointCommittees/HRI/Pages/default.aspx
Regarding implementing “Federal Health Reform” at the Federal Level, I find Families USA as my best resource. This organization is specifically focused on the things that concern families including families having children with disabilities. They not only have an informative website but they provide free national call-in conferences to learn about and discuss current issues. I have attended a few of them. Anyone who is interested in receiving updates and action notices can subscribe to an email subscription. I subscribe to follow things for the DDC. The website is: http://www.familiesusa.org/
David Maltman – Policy Analyst for the Washingtn State Developmental Disabilities Council