Health Insurance Legislation Passes

    I’m sure many of you (our customers, associates and business partners) have been “tracking” the legislative process in regards to the insurance industry over the past couple of years. Grotenhuis has been actively watching and analyzing the process, and we wanted to share our perspective on the most recent events.

    As you are probably aware, last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate-approved health care reform measure by 219-212. Immediately following this “historic” vote, they proceeded to approve (by a 220 – 211 vote) "key changes" to it, as part of a prearranged agreement to guarantee passage of the legislation. This “key changes” bill now goes to the Senate for final approval, where it requires a simple majority to pass. Depending on the changes, the bill will likely go back to the House for additional discussion and changes before a final vote. The President will likely sign the legislation into law on Tuesday. One thing is certain…the legislative process will have produced law that allows the federal government to regulate, monitor and potentially control the health insurance industry. A number of states are prepared to “fight” the implementation of this legislation, but it’s unlikely that they will be successful (Michigan is likely one of the states to consider this option).

    There are a variety (including a segment on “college loans” – which is a totally different discussion) of very interesting components in the bill, that will be debated and discussed over the next few weeks, months and probably years….as the lawmakers and bureaucrats “define” the language and implementation tactics of the law. At this point, the phrase “the devil is in the details” can not be overstated! We will be closely tracking a number of issues that directly impact all of us, especially our customers. This list (certainly not exhaustive) includes the following:
    • Insurance Exchanges
    • Guarantee Issue
    • Pre-existing conditions
    • Tax relief / Tax penalty

    Additional resources:

    We realize that some of the details of the legislation will “change” due to the reconciliation process, so we will be evaluating the changes so that we can translate them to help all of us understand how they apply to our businesses, customers and partners. We will be working with a number of key sources, especially our carrier partners, to help us with the “translation” process. In the end, we are all wondering how this legislation will impact not only our businesses…but also our jobs. Time will tell. As we wait and watch, please be assured that Grotenhuis will be actively investigating and communicating with you to keep you informed. One thing that we can plan on is change….continuous change. We must be prepared to adapt and change our perspectives, capabilities and value to our customers. Change, even chaotic change always produces opportunity….the opportunity to increase our value and create future growth.

    I am thankful as these changes occur, we can rely on the combined capabilities of our carriers, agents, business partners and associates to identify and take advantage of these opportunities.


    Dean Ferris

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588 3 Mile Road NW Suite 101, P.O. Box 140167, Grand Rapids, MI 49514-0167
Phone: (800) 748-0368 or (616) 949-7950 Fax: (877) 329-2844 or (616) 949-2502

Grotenhuis is an Authorized Independent Managing Agent for Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Michigan and Blue Care Network. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are non-profit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.