Private Insurer says ‘Trumpcare’ could impact recent healthcare reform efforts

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Last week, Rodriguez’s office said the fee would be taken directly from the insurance companies Medical Loss Ratio profits and should not affect those who are insured with private insurance agencies.

Guam – Concerns continue to mount due to the uncertain impact that president-elect Donald Trump’s policy will have on Guam’s industries, this time, healthcare. One private insurer says uncertainty with “Trumpcare” could change the way they view a recent healthcare reform initiative proposed by Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr.

 

On the heels of a new health care initiative by Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. Calvo’s Select Care plan administrator Frank Campillo says insurance rates could indeed rise with the introduction of a 4 percent health insurance fee as proposed in Senator Rodriguez’s original plan. Last week, Rodriguez’s office said the fee would be taken directly from the insurance companies Medical Loss Ratio profits and should not affect those who are insured with private insurance agencies.

“Anytime that you add a tax it will affect rates. At the end of the day the consumers are going to be the one’s paying for that extra tax. There is no way of getting around that,” says Campillo. “Our concern is that if we also make things too expensive than more people with drop from the insured population. The plan and the dialogue is very important dialogue.”

Campillo says Medical services on Guam have become increasingly expensive and will continue to rise. He fears Guam may soon reach a financial ceiling in terms of what taxpayers can afford. 

Additionally, the recent news that Medicare had approved a per diem rate for the Guam Regional Medical City by nearly 400 percent of what the Guam Memorial Hospital receives, plays into whether the insurer can afford to participate in Senator Rodriguez’s plan to convert management the MIP program to private insurers. Campillo says before this news, the company thought they could handle taking on a privatized MIP program. Not so much so now…

“Prior to about a week and half ago before we got the news that Medicare had increased fees to one of the local hospitals. We thought we would be able to participate and successfully run those programs. Of course there are new factors that we need to deal with which includes the new increase in reimbursement for Medicare to the new hospital and we need to sit down and crunch numbers and see if it is something that we can work,” said Campillo.

Campillo also joins the list of stakeholders who are uncertain about the impact of U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump’s policies on Guam. On Monday, the Guam Tax Commission voiced major concerns with a new Trump tax plan. Now Campillo says “Trumpcare” could completely change the way the company would look at Senator Rodriguez’s plan.

Campillo says, “Our organization, we have [been] preparing and have done a lot of administrative work in the last six years that is mainly due based on regulations that Obamacare has. If that is all derailed, then all this work went to waste, but even if it’s not derailed but if new regulations are put in place.”

While Campillo says, he thinks Senator Rodriguez’s plan is important dialogue, more discussion needs to take place given the recent issues that have come to light regarding Medicare reimbursement and possible effects of “Trumpcare.” But the future for Guam’s healthcare may not be so grim. Campillo points out that Governor Eddie Calvo and his role in the Trump administration, may be able to influence Guam’s role in a new “Trumpcare” initiative.