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The presidential race isn’t all we should be watching

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In part 1 of our quarterly visit with Jessica Waltman, we explore the “public option,” which down-ballot elections you should be watching and more.

Jessica is principal at Forward Health Consulting and is a regular contributor to ShiftShapers and one of the preeminent experts in how legislative and regulatory changes will affect your practice — and your clients. While we are all focused on the race for president, there is a much broader canvas to watch as well.

There has been renewed discussion of “the public option,” but Jessica points out that there are differing notions of exactly what that means, and different ways it might (or might not) get implemented. Essentially, the public option is a government-run health care program set up to compete with private insurers. Some say it’s the only way to save the Affordable Care Act since insurers are pulling out of the individual exchanges. Is it? We ask Jessica for insight.

Rising health care rates, a lack of competition and disappearing co-ops are also creating a great deal of noise in our markets. The risk adjustment mechanism under the ACA continues to drive perverse incentives and we explore some of the thinking around how those might be fixed.

Advisors who understand how the legislative changes impact both the group and individual markets will be better positioned to serve their clients. Jessica helps to clarify the potential changes on the horizon. In next week’s episode, we dig into more detail on a number of the recent regulatory changes and explore those that (may) come. Stay tuned!

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