Choice Stories

February 22, 2017

CHOICE Administrators CEO Featured in TIME Magazine

CHOICE Administrators CEO Featured in TIME Magazine 

Ron Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of CHOICE Administrators, the parent organization of the CaliforniaChoice private health exchange, was recently featured in an article published in the Money section of TIME magazine. Goldstein was one of three health insurance and Affordable Care Act (ACA) experts interviewed for the article “An Obamacare Repeal Could Hurt You Even if You Get Insurance through Work.” The article focused on changes being considered as part of the repeal and replacement of the ACA by the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress. It looked at several benefits that employer-sponsored health plans have added under the ACA and how some could go away under proposed reforms of the health care law. Goldstein spoke with TIME reporter Lisa Zamosky on the ACA’s current ban on lifetime limits for coverage.

Lifetime Limits For Insurers 

The health care law signed by President Obama in 2010 prevents insurers from placing annual or lifetime limits on the amount they will pay toward covered health care. Prior to the ACA’s enactment, it was common for plans to limit care to one million dollars over an insured’s lifetime. Goldstein noted, “Most people don’t realize that one bout of cancer before the law could cap out their insurance coverage, leaving them totally on the hook for all costs.” As Congress debates ACA alternatives, it’s possible an annual or lifetime limit could return. Another topic addressed in the article was free preventive care services, which is among the most-popular provisions of the ACA. It’s estimated 71 million Americans gained access to colonoscopy screenings, Pap smears, mammograms, well-baby care visits, and other services without cost-sharing under the health care law.

Millions of women with workplace-sponsored insurance also gained access to contraceptive care at no cost. This could be cut in any ACA repeal. Before the ACA, employers offering health insurance could impose a waiting period on new hires with a pre-existing health condition. That meant some who left or lost a job and were not able to afford to maintain their prior health coverage under COBRA could be forced to wait up to a year for new health insurance.

Pre-existing Condition Coverage In Replacement Plan

It’s not yet known whether the ACA’s coverage of pre-existing conditions will be maintained in a replacement plan. According to JoAnn Volk, research professor with the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, who was among the other two experts featured in the TIME article, “There’s a real threat that could go away and we’d go back to the bad old days." To read the full TIME article, which also addressed out-of-pocket limits, coverage for 20-somethings through a parent’s plan, and the right for an independent claim review, click here. For assistance with your group’s employee benefits, contact your broker. If you don’t already have a broker, we’ll help you find a local CaliforniaChoice broker to speak with about your health insurance needs.

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