Northern Michigan Prepares for Possible Affordable Care Act Repeal and Replacement

From hospitals and small business owners, to those using the Affordable Care Act for coverage people across Northern Michigan are keeping a close eye on what happens in Washington.

Right now there are a lot of questions about the future of the Affordable Care Act, but perhaps the biggest question is, what the replacement look like.

Munson Medical Center says it’s hard to say exactly what a full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act will look like but says it brings a lot of uncertainty for them.

“Is the insurance just removed is it replaced with someone else, and so hospitals are really looking to see what that plan is. Certainly when people do not have insurance, it makes them more likely to use the emergency room as their primary care office which isn’t the best way to receive health care,” said President and CEO Ed Ness.  

But some small businesses like The Blue Tractor in Traverse City say, change is needed.

“Our company, in general, when the premiums rose when the Affordable Health Care Act kicked in when the premium all went up, we compensated our employees and paid a portion of the increase to help them out. It was a huge burden not just for us, it was also for the employees,” said General Manager Michael Lloyd.

Brian Cote, the CEO of 44 North, a company that works with companies on health insurance plans says there have already been some hints about what President Trump’s replacement may look like.

“I think free market, more competition and more choices if I had to guess. Now that’s not getting into the weeds  of the regulations and the preexisting conditions, which I think they’ll keep, the age 26 which I think they’ll keep. I think the rest the market will have to dictate

Brian says that means people or companies could go across state lines to buy insurance.