Despite legal and legislative challenges, the federal health care reform statute – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) – continues to be the law.  Federal regulations further defining the details of the law, and state laws designed to address implementation of the law, are in varying stages of progress.  Northeast Delta Dental has been actively involved in efforts in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont regarding the development of state health benefit exchanges (“HBE”) and the manner in which dental benefits will be handled on those exchanges. 

PPACA requires individual states to either set up their own exchanges to be operational by January 1, 2014, or have the federal government step in and set up the exchange(s).  By the end of 2012, states must be progressing sufficiently toward implementation, in the judgment of federal officials, to avoid having the federal government become involved.  Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are all at differing stages with respect to implementation, with Vermont being the furthest along; efforts are underway in both Maine and New Hampshire, the legislatures of which are currently considering bills to set up a state based exchange.

Northeast Delta Dental believes that control of the exchanges by the states is vastly preferable to having them set up by the federal regulators, and that the state and its citizens and employers would be best served by a state designed and run exchange.  With that in mind, we are working with legislators toward that end.  Stay tuned for future updates.

Are HCR issues being discussed at the CEO and executive levels at your company, and if so, what are their concerns?  How do you feel HCR will impact your benefits, and specifically your dental plan?  Please share with me your thoughts.

Tom Raffio
January 2012

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