Creating Solutions to Meet America's Health Care Challenges

Posted on Dec 12th 2016 by Pat Geraghty

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In January, Donald Trump will be sworn in as our next President. At the same time, we will welcome in new and returning legislators at both the federal and state levels. With this change, there is promise and opportunity if we all share the same goal of providing access to affordable, high quality health care.

As a solutions-oriented company, Florida Blue complied with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, because it was the law of the land and because it made health care coverage available to many more Floridians.

Today, more than 20 million Americans – almost 2 million in Florida – are able to access health care for themselves and their families in the individual health insurance market. Now we are ready to work with the new Administration to identify the funding, benefits and guidelines through which even more Americans are provided the opportunity to obtain health care coverage.

While there have been early discussions regarding a replacement to the ACA, we must not overlook the millions of Floridians who are covered in the individual market today, 90 percent of whom receive a federal subsidy.

The goal of a health care solution should not be to limit or reduce the number of insureds, but to grow it exponentially. The financial benefit of health insurance is well documented. A recent National Center for Health Statistics study revealed that the number of people who have trouble paying their medical bills has dropped significantly over the past five years. Nevertheless, while the number of uninsured is dropping, those who remain without coverage are more susceptible to home foreclosures, personal bankruptcies and other financial crises.

Florida Blue’s mission – to help people and communities achieve better health – starts with providing strong health care coverage. We currently have nearly 700,000 members in the individual insurance market and in Florida, interest in health care coverage and activity during this open enrollment period remains high. We anticipate the potential of an additional 250,000 individuals entrusting us with their coverage this enrollment cycle.

As we sign up significant numbers of new members, we are educating applicants about their coverage options, and we are supporting their quest to find affordable health care coverage.

During the week following the election, Florida Blue saw a 70 percent increase in enrollment submissions compared to the same period last year. Additionally, during the two weeks after the election, more than 26,000 Florida residents visited one of our Florida Blue Centers. Floridians understand the importance and value of having health insurance, and they are taking action to obtain coverage.

As we anticipate the change that will surely take place in the health care industry, we look ahead with optimism and extend our hand to federal and local leaders. Together, with a focus on affordable, quality health care, we can create great solutions to meet America’s health care challenges. 

Filed under: Health Education  

Pat Geraghty

Patrick “Pat” Geraghty is president and chief executive officer (CEO) of GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation, Florida Blue and GuideWell Group, Inc. GuideWell is a mutual insurance holding company and is a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care. The holding company includes Florida Blue, GuideWell Connect, GuideWell Health, GuideWell Source and PopHealthCare.

Geraghty is active in leading professional and community organizations. He serves as the chair of the Florida Council of 100, a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization of Florida business leaders who advise the state’s governor on how to improve the economic growth of the state and the economic well-being of its residents. He also serves as a member of the board of the National Institute of Health Care Management (NIHCM), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of America’s health care system. Additionally, Geraghty is a member of the Oliver Wyman Innovation Center Advisory Board and serves on the boards of Pardee Rand Graduate School, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and Tampa Electric Co. (TECO).In 2016 Geraghty became a member of the Health Governors Community of the World Economic Forum, the international organization for public-private cooperation, and a trustee for its Global Challenge Initiative on The Future of Health.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University and has completed executive education programs at Harvard University School of Public Health and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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