Nebraska’s largest health insurer says preparations continue to implement federal health care reform, with little changing since the US Supreme Court upheld the 2010 law.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Nebraska President Steve Martin says the Supreme Court ruling had little effect on the company. It has been working with state officials to establish the health insurance exchange the law requires. Martin says Nebraska has taken steps to comply, while some states haven’t even completed the groundwork to create exchanges.
Blue Cross says the individual health insurance market continues to grow, though Martin says some people might consider the tax for not buying insurance is less costly than buying coverage.
While Martin says Blue Cross is ready to implement the law’s measures, he didn’t have universal praise for it. Martin says that while the bill approved two years ago addresses access, it does little to address affordability.
“America does spend a lot of money on health care, more than any country. The Institute of Medicine has done a number of studies on how much we waste,” according to Martin.
Martin says more needs to be done to eliminate unnecessary expenses.
“Accidents, errors, those are unnecessary,” Martin says. “There have been a lot of studies that you could refer to from the Institute of Medicine, a great deal of studies that it’s pretty dangerous to go into a lot of healthcare delivery sites. The mistake levels are very high.”
Martin says the stance of the company has not changed signed the bill was signed into law. Blue Cross will work to implement the law and help policymakers “fix provisions that will increase costs, such as the health insurance tax that will add hundreds of dollars to families’ premiums each year.”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield insures 700,000 Nebraska residents.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.