News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Business

July 21, 2013

ISU set to host forum on effects of Affordable Care Act

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 in the Columbia Club at Indianapolis.

Networks Financial Institute in the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University will host an event called “The big bang for the Affordable Care Act: The end of health care financing as we know it?”

The forum will come just as ACA enrollment begins on Oct. 1, with coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2014.

“We’re hoping to appeal to a very broad audience,” said John Tatom, Networks consultant who is helping organize the forum. “The objective is to let people know what’s happening with ‘Obamacare,’ 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 healthcare policy experts and industry experts who will discuss the Affordable Care Act’s impact.

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.

David B. Kendall, senior fellow for health and fiscal policy at Third Way, and Galen Institute president Grace-Marie Turner will present their 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.

“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 hosted an earlier forum on the ACA in 2011, shortly after Obamacare became law.

 Yet the most significant parts of the law will go into effect in January when ACA coverage begins, Tatom said. That impending deadline has led to renewed public interest as people — employers. workers and consumers seeking insurance, some for the first time — 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 change by the administration just heightened uncertainty.”

The 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 www.indstate.edu/

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