Meet the Press   |  October 27, 2013

Florida health care head explains how law affecting state

Patrick J. Geraghty, Chairman and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, said health care providers are moving forward to fix problems faced by health care law’s implementation.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> thousands of americans are receiving notices that their plans are being canceled because of the guidelines set by the health care law . in florida , for instance, the oldest and largest health care plan provider, florida blue, the state's blue cross and blue shield company, confirmed it is cutting 300,000 policies. joining me now from london is florida blue ceo pat geraghty. mr. geraghty, thank you for being here. why are you cutting these people from their insurance?

>> well, david , we're not cutting people. we're actually transitioning people. what we've been doing is informing folks that their plan doesn't meet the test of the essential health benefits , therefore, they have a choice of many options that we make available through the exchange, and, in fact, with subsidy, many people will be getting better plans at a lesser cost. this really is a transition, and, in fact, the 300,000 figure is the entire year. so it's really 40,000 people for january 1 , and we're walking them through that transition.

>> so if i've got health insurance that i now like, you're writing to me and saying, look, i've got to cover -- i've got to give more comprehensive coverage under this plan as a result. you've got to go find something else. you're going to pay more, chances are, but maybe if you qualify for subsidies, maybe you'll pay less in the end. there is still a disruptive accent. you can talk about migrating, you can talk about transitioning. i'm not just asking about florida but asking you to look more broadly. there are people who have what they like and they'll end up paying more. there is some sticker shock that will be out there with this law. is that fair?

>> david , what i can tell you is that in florida , because that's what i represent, in florida we are doing 3,000 education seminars from the beginning of september through the end of march, making sure that people understand what their options are. we're in all 67 counties, we built retail centers, we're reaching out to our customers so they understand what their choices are. and we believe people will find choices there that work.

>> my question is, will people pay more?

>> people who are subsidized are probably going to have the opportunity to pay less. it really is an individualized issue. and there may be some people who pay more, but it really depends on your individual circumstances.

>> you met at the white house with senior aides going through this obama carroe rollout. as an insurance executive, you signed up basically for a deal here, which is to say, okay, we'll cover people who have preexisting conditions. we'll do that if you can deliver us some more business. give us younger, healthier people who probably aren't going to need our insurance, and that's how we'll make money and balance out the fact we're going to pay more out, covering people with preexisting conditions. that was the deal. is this model going to work based on the rollout you're seeing?

>> well, there is no denying that the rollout has had bumps. and we actually expected there would be bumps in the beginning of the process. the good thing about the meeting we had at the white house is it was very positive, it was candid, we laid issues on the table, we had a good exchange with the folks at the white house and we had a commitment, particular commitment around a piece called direct enrollment. that direct enrollment allows us, the insurance industry , to help the administration get people signed up. as that gets prioritized, we'll be able to help bring people into the exchange, and we think that that will be a big lift for the installation of the affordable care act .

>> did you warn the white house that they could face this, they could face this kind of tough rollout? did they ignore some warnings?

>> david , i think the real issue here is we have to work on how do we fix this, we're working together to be positive about how to fix this, we're working with the state --

>> i know what the goal is. did you warn them this could go bad?

>> david , we're not looking backwards . i think it really is about how do we move forward and solve this? we serve millions of people across the state of florida . it would be a distraction for me to spend my time looking backwards . i spend my time figuring out, how do we serve the people in florida that were trying to bring most education about their options so they can help their families.

>> i'll respectfully point out i didn't get the answer to the question i was looking for. i do appreciate your time very much today. thank you.