Local Insurance Company Reacts To Healthcare Ruling

By Christy Lewis

MEDFORD, Ore. — It’s a big day for insurance brokers and their clients. The Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act also impacts the insurance industry.

NewsWatch12’s Christy Lewis spoke with local insurance broker Reggie Jones and he’s been busy all day today talking to curious clients following the Supreme Court ruling.

The phone at Western States Insurance Agency is ringing off the hook with the same question; people wondering: “how will this impact me?” Insurance broker Reggie Jones says it’s hard to give a concrete answer. Since it’s not set to take effect until 2014, Jones says there’s still time for more parts of the plan to change. If anything changes with the cost of health coverage, Jones says it will only go up.

“I would hope that the public would be engaged in that process, and the consumers would be engaged, because ultimately out of all of this, most companies and most people think that this will increase our premiums drastically,” Jones says.

The ruling was not a total shock to the brokers at Western States Insurance; Jones says they’ve been preparing for this outcome for months. Because of those preparations, Jones believes the ruling will not impact Western States Insurance’s business. He believes people will always see a need for a trusted insurance adviser.

A spokesperson from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon, Scott Burton, says the insurance company is opposed to a part of the Affordable Care Act, the part involving premiums.

“The premium tax in the Affordable Care Act, this is a tax that our company opposes because we feel that it will continue to contribute to the rising costs of health care across the country,” Burton states.

The spokesperson also added, even though the act expands coverage, the ruling completely avoids addressing the cost issue.