Expert Ben Hanback

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The Williamson Source sat down with Ben Hanback of the Hanback Group to discuss President Obama’s new healthcare plan. Ben was recently a guest on the FOX Business Money panel discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act. The Hanback Group is an employee benefits, enrollment and human resources consulting company in Brentwood.

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Do you know what Tennessee is doing to implement the Presidents new healthcare plan?
The State of Tennessee received or is in the process of receiving $9M in the form of Federal Grants and has been in discussions with the various insurance carriers to begin setting up the exchanges.

Will it reduce healthcare cost for everyone across the board? Will premiums increase?
I do not see any decreases in the near future with private group or individual health costs.  The exchanges are going to be priced below private health insurance, but they are going to have narrower networks (fewer providers to choose from).

Healthcare costs have risen over the last 2 years because of the healthcare law, when and how do you see the cost of healthcare coming down for the consumer?
The specific provision saving the consumer money is preventive care coverage at 100%.  This has the potential of saving money down the road, but that has yet to be seen.  This assumes everyone that is covered will get his or her annual physical, well-women’s exam, etc.

You mentioned the new plan does not address Lifestyle Choices on the Fox Business broadcast. Can you explain what you meant and help us understand your concerns?
The majority of health issues in America can be tied back to smoking, drinking, diet and exercise (lifestyle choices).  There is nothing in the new law that addresses wellness with regard to the cost of healthcare.  Cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks and diabetes can be directly tied back to the choices we make or don’t make in our lives.

Limited networks have their advantages and disadvantages. How do you see this unfolding here in Williamson County?
Depending on what is decided with the exchanges, there may be Williamson County doctors and hospitals that would potentially be excluded in the particular exchange network.  This would mean a patient/resident might have to change providers or receive treatment at a facility outside of Williamson County.

When discussing quality of care, how is the Williamson County infrastructure prepared for this flood of additional patients in your opinion, and what can be done to address the coming needs?
Nashville/Middle Tennessee and Williamson County have some of the best facilities and highest quality healthcare in the country. I do see the need for more doctors and nurses as the law plays out, but don’t see a flood of new patients entering all at once.

What does this new healthcare plan mean for Businesses in Williamson County? How might it impact the business owner?
A Williamson County business owner with over 50 employees is going to have to make some big decisions regarding their healthcare plans between now and 2014.  The biggest choice is to continue private healthcare for their employees or pay the $2000 annual fine while sending the employees to the exchanges to purchase their own coverage.

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Andrea Hinds
Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.