By Cherri Gregg, Susan Barnett
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Independence Blue Cross provides health insurance to more than three-million people in the Philadelphia region. The insurer had a response to Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, upholding the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul that nearly every American have insurance.
Independence Blue Cross CEO Dan Hilferty says they are happy that the country’s first step toward healthcare reform remains in tact, but there is a lot more work to be done.
“While the law expands coverage,” Hilferty says. “It does not make progress in improving patient care or lowering healthcare costs for our customers.”
Hilferty says costs of patient care is still expected to rise over the next few years and even though the restrictions in the law will limit insurance premiums for older adults, younger adults will likely bear the brunt of the increases. He says this could force younger adults to ignore the healthcare mandate.
“The penalty for carrying insurance in 2014 will be as low as $95,” he adds. “Younger, healthy adults may choose to pay the penalty instead of purchasing insurance.”
Hilferty says Independence Blue Cross is working to ensure that it will meet all requirements under the law.