The Alan Katz Health Care Reform Blog

Health Care Reform From One Person's Perspective

Nominate Your Most Useful Health Care Reform Resources

Posted by Alan on October 11, 2010


Health care reform is a complicated business. It’s hard enough keeping track of all the explicit requirements and timelines let along understand the new laws nuances and subtleties. Brokers and their clients need tools and support to keep abreast, and to avoid running afoul, of all the law and regulations coming down the pike from Washington, DC and your local state capital.

One purpose of this blog is to provide a central place to find some of those resources while at the same time weeding out the ones that either fail to deliver on their promise or are so biased as to be less than useful. Links to useful sites and the like are scattered throughout various posts on this blog. However, to make them easier to find and use I’m planning to create a Resources page. The resources to be found on this site will be curated (meaning I’ll evaluate each of them) and categorized by type (e.g., timelines, educational tools, calculators) and topic (tax credits, exchanges, compliance).

While I come across a lot of useful information and tools, it’s a big Internet out there. So I’m asking for your help. Readers of this blog tend to be engaged and aware of health care reform and, I’m betting, about tools to help brokers and clients deal with the coming changes. So I’m asking you to nominate your favorite sites, blogs, tools, timelines and the like.

Nominating a resource is simple. Just “comment” on this posting with the name of a resource, a link to it and a sentence or three on why you think it’s helpful and worthwhile. The resources can come from any credible source: government agencies (HealthCare.gov has plenty of information about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – yes, it tends to take a rosy view of everything little thing about it, but it also provides links to actual regulations and does explain important aspects of the law in simple language); from non-profits (the Kaiser Family Foundation offers a short video explaining health care reform – to the  extent there’s a villain in the piece it’s the insurance carriers and there’s no mention of brokers, but it is helpful to anyone trying to offer a big picture explanation of what’s going on with health care reform, and why); or commercial (Anthem offers an easy-to-use tool that answers the question, “Should I grandfather my health plan or not? – and it’s devoid of explicit selling by Anthem other than the site branding). You’re even welcome to nominate other blogs, so long as their focus is on providing useful information and insight, not pushing a political agenda. Please indicate if the resource is for members or subscribers only. (Much of the terrific material NAHU offers is for members-only, but there’s still plenty of helpful information on their site accessible to all.

Please nominate only one resource per comment. The reason is that I’m also asking you to vote thumbs up or thumbs down on the usefulness and quality of the resources nominated by others. You can explain your vote by commenting on the comment, but what really matters is whether you consider the nominated resource to be useful and credible.

Again, the goal here is to provide in one place resources to brokers and their clients navigate the new health care reform law. The emphasize will be on material that educates and communicates what the law does, when it does it, and how to deal with it. They say there’s wisdom in crowds and I’m thinking the crowd who reads this blog is pretty wise. So we should be able to come up with a pretty good set of resources.

My hope is to get the page up before the end of the month. So please get your first nominees in by October 20th). Of course, I’ll be constantly updating the Resource page so please feel free to nominate any resource you come along when you come along it.

Thanks in advance for your help. Let the nominating begin: what resource would you recommend to fellow readers?

Please note, if you put more than one URL in your comment not only won’t others be able to vote for a partiulcar nominee, but WordPress will likely send your entire comment to their Spam folder. While I’ll be able to retrieve some, I won’t be able to catch them all, meaning none of your nominees will be noted. So please — one resource per comment.

28 Responses to “Nominate Your Most Useful Health Care Reform Resources”

  1. Robert Lehrer said

    I red several of the sources mentioned in previous comments. But I like Alan’s blog the best for three reasons:
    1. He doesn’t side with the industry or the public. He knows his market is mostly agents, but his comments don’t include hyperbole and distortions. Thank you Alan!
    2. He makes his explanations succinct and easy to understand. Because of Alan’s clarity, I appear knowledgeable when I speak with my clients.
    3. He’s informative!

  2. After today’s (October 21, 2010) announcements that the Agent/Broker Community don’t matter to the well-being of America, does this thread really have any meaning? I think not!

  3. Guy Kite said

    Thought this was interesting.

  4. Libby said

    I like http://www.americasfairhealthcare.org/ Plain English, user friendly.You can link onto other sites from this site.

  5. Miriam Schultz said

    http://healthierwe.com/

    keeps me up-to-date with current issues, quirks and tidbits from the world of Healthcare, seen through a media lens.

  6. Every doctor should read the Dr. Kuntz Story

    http://drkuntz.blogspot.com

    This blog is dedicated to Dr. John David Kuntz who was attacked and professionally destroyed by the Canadian legal and judical mafia who saw an opportunity to carry out one of the greatest medical insurance frauds in Canadian history.

  7. Kristin S. said

    NASHP is a great resource when looking for the state perspective.

    (Administrator’s note: NASHP is the National Academy for State Health Policy. The URL is http://www.nashp.org/)

  8. Stephen Bruner said

    One site I’ve found to be different but very helpful is http://www.reformjunction.com

    This is more of a collaborative/social type of resource where you can ask a particular question and have other brokers or people in the field answer your questions based on what they know to be true in their experience. It isn’t as much about a one-page summary like many of these resources, but about helping each other find answer to real life scenarios that pop up from a client conversation or during implementation, etc. The more users that adopt and use it, the more useful it will become for everyone. I hope you like it.

  9. vince phillips said

    To clarify my earlier email, I was reading the replies and it occured to me that someone might think that I thought Employee Benefit News was a propaganda site. Far from it. I like EB News as a resource. I was refering to the need to wade through HHS’ self-serving rhetoric while looking for the informational materials and links to regulations. Sorry if the syntax in my original email confused anyone as to meaning and intent.

  10. Alan said

    Scott Diehl also nominated: http://www.paychexinsurance.com/healthcarereform/index.aspx
    Paychex created this neat and relatively simple site for delivery of healthcare reform information.

  11. Alan said

    Scott Diehl also nominated: http://www.blueshieldca.com/producer-health-reform
    Blue Shield of California’s page on Healthcare Reform.

  12. Alan said

    Scott also nominated: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220839,00.html
    IRS website devoted to the Small Business Tax Credit, gives much information brokers can use

  13. Alan said

    Scott also nominated: http://www.hhs.gov/
    Dept of Health and Human services, regularly publishes information about aspects of the Affordable Care Act that are soon to roll out.

  14. Alan,

    This is a fantastic idea. If we pool the resources available we can all move forward offering our clients superior service and really strengthen our value proposition in the marketplace. To that end, the following are a list of resources that we offer and/or regularly access to review legislation and updates:

    Click to access healthreformguide.pdf


    Word & Brown’s PDF Brochure geared toward Employers regarding Healthcare Reform.
    I hope these help you all to navigate the coming changes in our marketplace.
    Good luck!

    Scott nominated several site, I’ll do additional comments for him. Please note, if you put more than one URL in your comment there’s a good chance your comment will wind up in the WordPress Spam folder. While I’ll catch some, I doubt if I’ll catch them all. So please — one resource per comment.
    Thanks Alan

  15. Todd Matzat said

    For information about the new federal high-risk pools for those with pre-existing health conditions: http://www.pciplan.com/

  16. Ann H. said

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/3_simple_steps.pdf A one-page form called “3 simple steps” to seeing if a small business qualifies for the Small Business Health Care Tax Subsidy.

  17. Ann H. said

    http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=220839,00.html IRS regs on the Small Business Health Care Tax Subsidy

  18. Ann H. said

    http://healthreform.kff.org/subsidycalculator.aspx This is Kaiser’s calculator of the tax subsidy for those under 400% of the poverty level. Unfortunately, they use 2014 dollars, so it’s a little hard to use for that reason, but still a great resource.

  19. Ann H. said

    http://quinnscommentary.com/category/healthcare/ Not a bad blog!

  20. Alan said

    Vince Phillips also nominated this site: http://www.hss.gov

  21. Ann H. said

    http://www.thehill.com This keeps me pretty up-to-date on what is happening in Congress. You can filter the news by “health care reform”.

  22. Ann H. said

    http://www.bnet.com/blog/healthcare-business I check this site often, too.

  23. Alan said

    Vince Phillips also nominated this site:
    http://www.kff.org (Kaiser Family Foundation)

  24. Ann H. said

    http://www.parasolfinancial.com/insurance-agent-news/ Another great news source, geared towards insurance agents.

  25. Ann H. said

    http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/ I don’t agree with everything Kaiser says, but you can’t beat it for keeping up-to-date on health care reform news.

  26. Ann H. said

    No kidding, Haley, I was going to say the same thing. Alan, hands down the best resource is your blog. I’ll nominate some others, using a different comment for each one as you asked.

    http://twitter.com/nahudotorg. Even for non-members, this is a great news feed.

  27. vince phillips said

    Personally, I think the two best NGO sites are http://www.nahu.org (National Association of Health Undewrrters)and http://www.kff.org (Kaiser Family Foundation)

    Best on the second tier are http://www.hss.gov once you get through the propaganda and Employee Benefit News.

    Enjoy!

    Administrator’s note: Please use this comment to vote on the NAHU site. I’ll set up additional comments for the Kaiser and the HSS sites. Thanks.

  28. Hayley Friedman said

    Yours!

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