March 18, 2013
The Governor is currently considering legislation he may veto or amend. Both the Medicaid expansion and the legislation on the Health Benefits Exchange could be vetoed or amended. You can click here to contact the governor and express your opinion. Medicaid expansion will provide 400,000 more Virginians with health insurance, create 30,000 jobs and save small businesses money.
Now that the General Assembly has finished with legislation, we will be working with Virginia state officials and the federal government on implementation of the new Health Benefits Exchange and Medicaid expansion as well as outreach to small business to inform them of these opportunities.
As part of that outreach work, JoAnn Grossi, the regional Director of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services will be speaking in Virginia Beach on the evening of Tuesday, April 23. Ms. Grossi will be in charge of setting up the Health Benefits Exchange in Virginia. So whatever information she has will be valuable. She will be speaking at New Hope Baptist Church, 395 Old Great Neck Road.
There is a federal income tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance for their employees. The credit will carry over into the future if it is not all used in one year. IRS form 8941 contains useful information.
The federal government has a new online tool to help small businesses (and individuals) find health insurance options. See http://www.healthcare.gov/videos/2011/11/small-business-health-plan-finder.html for more information
A Washington Post story looked at why health care costs are so much higher in the US than in most other countries.The answer? “It’s the prices, stupid."
The authors reported, "On Friday, the International Federation of Health Plans — a global insurance trade association that includes more than 100 insurers in 25 countries — released more direct evidence. It surveyed its members on the prices paid for 23 medical services and products in different countries, asking after everything from a routine doctor’s visit to a dose of Lipitor to coronary bypass surgery. And in 22 of 23 cases, Americans are paying higher prices than residents of other developed countries. Usually, we’re paying quite a bit more. The exception is cataract surgery, which appears to be costlier in Switzerland, though cheaper everywhere else.” See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/15/why-an-mri-costs-1080-in-america-and-280-in-france/
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