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October 6, 2013

Networks Financial Institute to host ACA forum in Indy

TERRE HAUTE — The Affordable Care Act’s seismic effects on the nation’s health care industry, including how people get insurance, its availability and cost, will be discussed at an Oct. 18 forum at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis.

Networks Financial Institute in the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University will host “The big bang for the Affordable Care Act: The end of health care financing as we know it?” The forum will provide insights about the implementation of the law, which is sometimes referred to as Obamacare, including the ACA’s unintended consequences and potential regulatory responses. The forum will come just as ACA enrollment began on Oct. 1, with coverage starting on Jan. 1.

“We’re hoping to appeal to a very broad audience,” said John Tatom, NFI consultant who is helping organize the forum. “The objective is to let people know what’s happening with the Affordable Care Act, what’s going to happen in 2014, along with how effective these programs are likely to be in terms of achieving the goals of accessibility and affordability.”

Speakers include health care policy experts and industry experts who will discuss the Affordable Care Act’s impact. Dan Grelecki, an Indiana State graduate and director of patient protection and affordable care act for Old National Insurance; John Boss III, executive vice president and resident managing director of Indianapolis offices of Aon, and Wesley Mantooth, employee benefits practice leader at Gibson Insurance will be among those discussing how health care insurance offerings are changing under the new law. Another panel will discuss the perspectives of major employers and the state of Indiana in preparations for the major changes in health care insurance and financing.

Jim Mills, vice president of human resources for Fairfield Manufacturing; and Theresa Jasper, vice president of human resources for Hulman and Company, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Productions and INDYCAR will provide employer perspectives at the summit. Seema Verma, president of health consulting company SVC, Inc., will discuss effects on state programs for Medicaid.

Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Massachusetts’ landmark health care reform law who also served as a key advisor to the Obama administration in the creation of the Affordable Care Act, will discuss the law during his keynote address at the forum. David B. Kendall, senior fellow for health and fiscal policy at Third Way will present his research on the Affordable Care Act’s effects, benefits and shortcomings, along with the likely responses of employers, consumers, insurers, health care providers and governmental agencies. Scott Gottlieb, a practicing physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, will also provide his insights.

“We‘ve done a lot of research on the Affordable Care Act over the last couple of years,” said Ray Thomas, web developer for NFI who is helping to organize the seminar. “It’s a controversial and complex subject, and we think people deserve to know what is going on and how it will affect them.”

NFI previously hosted a forum on the ACA in 2011, shortly after the Affordable Care Act became law. Yet the most significant parts of the law will go into effect in January when ACA coverage begins, Tatom said, which has led to renewed public interest as people — from employers to workers and consumers purchasing insurance for the first time or renewing their coverage — want to know how the law will impact them.

Some elements have remained just as confusing as they seemed when the law was passed. Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced that employers will not face penalties in 2014 for failing to provide insurance to full-time employees. That announcement has left some employers looking to implement new insurance programs scrambling on what to do next, Tatom said.

“Many people have been plagued by uncertainty of what their options are,” Tatom added. “You would think that as we approach 2014, that this uncertainty would be resolving itself, but the changes by the administration just heightened uncertainty.”

Want to go?

• The Affordable Care Act forum is free to attend and will include lunch during the daylong event.

• For more information, including registration information, visit the Networks Financial Institute homepage at



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