With the insurance industry in the U.S. undergoing significant changes, customers are finding it hard to keep up with companies trying to adapt to an evolving playing field. The health care reform law, The Affordable Care Act, was passed only last year and has had sweeping implications on how the industry is to operate.
Health care reform has attracted its share of supporters and opponents, but a chief executive of one of the nation’s largest insurers says that the changes coming from the Act are for the greater good.
Aetna, a national leader of health insurance and associated benefits, has long been in t he public eye thanks to their position. Now, as debate continues over the validity of the health care reform law, Aetna is thrust again into the limelight along with other insurers. Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, has come out to say that reform is necessary for the system to continue functioning properly.
Bertolini has had a troubled past when it comes to health care. In 2001, his son, Eric, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Having no other choice, Bertolini transferred his son to hospice care, which meant signing a “do not resuscitate” order. In 2004, Bertolini nearly died from injuries from a skiing accident. These experiences brought changes to the way Aetna provides coverage, but Bertolini adamantly asserts that he would have been denied coverage if not for his position. If the Affordable Care Act had not been passed, he says, he would not be able to seek alternatives due to his past.
Bertolini is one of the few in the insurance industry that is willing to be outspoken on the issue of health care reform. He submits that there are obstacles ahead in making changes to the health system, but believes that the changes are necessary.