The rising cost of healthcare has long been the biggest challenge for business. Now, it seems that businesses will have to wrestle with uncertainty as well. The federal government has made it clear that big changes in health insurance laws are coming, and as the healthcare landscape changes, so does NJBIA’s role. In addition to advocating for probusiness policies at the state level, we will watch what happens in Washington so we can inform members and help them make sense of the changes.
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). President Trump has issued an executive order requiring agencies to grant relief from the ACA’s provisions when they present a burden, and Congress has included ACA repeal in its budget resolution. ACA repeal could have a big impact on the insurance market as a whole, which would impact the cost of health benefits for New Jersey businesses. NJBIA is providing regular e-mail updates through its Health Affairs Issue Network.
Opioid Addiction. In New Jersey, the Governor and Legislature have approved expansion of both inpatient and outpatient drug treatment coverage in health plans sold in the state. This is in response to the dramatic rise in heroin overdoses in 2016. While the goal is laudable, NJBIA has asked legislators to consider the cost of such an expansion and the impact it will have on premiums.
Controlling Healthcare Costs. Businesses want to provide health benefits as a way to attract and retain good employees, but excessive insurance cost increases are making that harder to do. Premium increases for small businesses averaged 12 percent last year and have continued to increase well beyond the rate of inflation for employers of all sizes. NJBIA believes that the high cost is a big reason many people still do not have health insurance.
“Surprise” out-of-network medical bills: NJBIA has formed a coalition of concerned businesses and organizations surrounding legislation to deal with “surprise” bills for out-of-network urgent or emergency healthcare services. Consumers can receive unexpected healthcare bills for procedures they thought their insurance covered. NJBIA supports legislation that establishes price transparency policies that are balanced, simple and cost effective, and advocates use of an appropriate dispute resolution process to determine reasonable compensation to healthcare providers while protecting consumers.
Telemedicine. Allowing doctors and patients to have consultations electronically would save time and money while still providing quality care. Not every interaction requires a doctor’s visit. NJBIA supports legislation that would authorize healthcare practitioners to provide healthcare services through telemedicine, but we have urged the Legislature to remove a “payment parity” provision that would have eliminated much of the cost savings.