Message from the President


Last week was crazy as the American public and our members reacted to the passage by Congress of new health care legislation.  Our advice is to calm down.  This is the first leg of a long race and we will hear about many, many changes before anything is decided.  Much of the information being discussed is conjecture and comes with many fallacies.  I could use this column to counterpoint many of the components that are not true, but the bill as it was passed by Congress will have so many changes and iterations, that it would bring no value. 

Here is what I can tell you.  Health Care premiums in Western New York are going to experience a big increase for 2018.  This has nothing to do with what happened last week.  It results from risk adjustments re-setting at the state level.  As soon as we get confirmation of rates, we will share them with you.  Like you, we are concerned about escalating premium costs along with the dilution of benefits.  We need systemic change in the health care delivery system in our country.

Moving from a fee based reimbursement system in physician offices and hospitals to an outcome based payment system will help – but it will take some time before significant savings to the subscriber will be experienced. 

We all agree on one thing – health insurance costs have gotten out of hand.  We will continue to work with our public officials and the carriers to provide the users perspective with hopes that we can realize some incremental change.  In the interim, we remain committed to our members and are available five days a week to assist you as you navigate this increasingly confusing and costly benefit.