Many small business owners in the Washington metro area are afraid of the new healthcare law. This fear is based on the small business owner’s concern that providing health insurance for their employees will drive the small business into bankruptcy. “I have less than 20 employees and there is no way I can provide health insurance and stay in business. The insurance premiums will kill me,” said one dejected small business owner.
The DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority (HBX) is trying to educate small business owners on how to deal with and overcome this healthcare fear. The Executive Board of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority was established as a requirement of Section 6 of the Health Benefit Exchange Authority Establishment Act of 2011 (D.C. Law 19-0094).
The HBX is the central mechanism created by the health reform bill to help individuals and small businesses purchase health insurance coverage. The HBX will establish an exchange to help consumers make valid comparisons between certified plans that have met benchmarks for quality and affordability.
The program will also administer the new health insurance subsidies and facilitate enrollment in private health insurance, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The District of Columbia is second in the nation for providing health insurance coverage for its residents.
Small business owners and DC residents who want more information should attend the Executive Board meeting that will be chaired by Dr. Mohammed Akhter on Wednesday November 28th, 2012 from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm. The D.C. Department of Health is located at 899 North Capitol Street, NE in Suite 406. The building is located directly across the street from Gonzaga Catholic High School and is only two blocks from the Union Station Metro Station.
President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Gary Cohen, the director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will come to the meeting armed with information. Small business owners will have an opportunity to get the facts. Knowledge is power. This meeting is slated to provide knowledge on the SHOP Employer Selection presentation which will outline the Employer Reference Plan model as the primary model of employer contribution for small group employers in the District SHOP Exchange.
The meeting agenda will also include Board action on the Navigator Program Recommendation. Public comment on the SHOP Employer Selection and discussion of additional HBX Advisory Boards will also be part of the meeting. If you are a small business owner fearful of the cost of the new healthcare law this is a meeting you should not miss. Public comments and concerns will be welcomed at the meeting. The meeting is open to the general public.