Health Care Reform – What’s in it for Entrepreneurs
On Thursday, March 25, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the H.R. 4872 (the “Reconciliation Bill”). This bill modified the Health Care Reform bill signed by President Obama on March 23 as noted in my previous blog posts (http://www.zanebenefits.com/tec/2010/03/127/Health+Care+Reform+-+The+Impact+on+U.S.+Employers+and+Employees). Regardless of my or your political opinion on Health Care Reform, it is now the law of the land.
The U.S. federal government effectively now:
(1) Mandates that everyone get health insurance; and
(2) Defines what is health insurance–what specific procedures, drugs, and treatments must be included in every health insurance policy.
If you are a medical provider today, or are considering becoming a medical or wellness provider, this could be the greatest entrepreneurial opportunity of your lifetime.
Here’s just one example. Beginning September 23, 2010, health insurance policies must cover with No Deductibles and No Copays (i.e. 100% free to the patient) preventative and wellness care. Just think what this one provision could mean to a manufacturer of breast cancer screening devices, or to a chain of medically-supervised weight loss clinics. You now have 300 million potential customers, at hundreds or thousands of dollars each, and each customer has 100% of their services paid for by their private or federal health insurance carrier.
The final details of what is, and is not, included in the list of mandatory free preventative services will be issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). But, just to whet your appetite, here is a list of thousands of preventative treatments (http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/pocketgd09/) ranging from obesity screening to smoking cessation programs that HHS could include on what must be covered.
I’ll be writing more on this in the coming weeks. My next blog posting on Health Care Reform will be what employers and employees should do now regarding employer-sponsored health benefits.