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Published June 14, 2013, 12:44 PM

BCBS to hold employer forums on Affordable Care Act

FARGO – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is holding eight forums in the next two weeks to prepare employers statewide for changes in health care and its costs as the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.

By: Helmut Schmidt, INFORUM

FARGO – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is holding eight forums in the next two weeks to prepare employers statewide for changes in health care and its costs as the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.

The forums start Monday in Minot and end June 27 in Fargo, BCBS announced Friday.

BCBS President and CEO Paul von Ebers said the ACA is “probably the biggest change in health care” since Medicare became law in 1966.

Von Ebers said there’s a lot of confusion among employers about how the law will affect their insurance coverage and their bottom lines.

He said the law runs about 2,000 pages with 7,000 to 8,000 pages of accompanying regulations.

“It is a very dense, complicated topic,” von Ebers said. “We think the more people who understand the law” the better.

North Dakota opted not to create its own health insurance marketplace or exchange, so it will be administered and run by the federal government.

Open enrollment begins this fall, with health insurance marketplace coverage beginning Jan. 1.

The morning sessions of the BCBS forums (9 to noon each day) will be for employers with fewer than 50 employees. From 1 to 4 p.m., they will address the needs of employers with 50 or more employees.

The sessions are:

• Monday at Minot’s International Inn.

• Tuesday at Williston’s Grand Williston Hotel.

• Wednesday at Dickinson’s Ramada Grand Dakota

• Thursday at Bismarck’s Best Western Ramkota.

• June 24 at Devils Lake’s Lake Region State College.

• June 25 at Grand Forks’ Howard Johnson.

• June 26 at Jamestown’s Quality Inn and Suites.

• June 27 at Fargo’s Holiday Inn.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

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