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What Health Care Reform Means To Insured

By: Don Jorgensen

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the health care reform bill into law as soon as Tuesday even though, according to most polls, Americans are still confused by it.

That's true in KELOLAND. According to our informal poll at, the majority of participants say it's confusing. That may have you wondering what it all means to you.

Nearly 90 percent of South Dakotans already have some form of health insurance. Ruth Krystopolski, president of the Sanford Health Plan, which is one of the largest insurance providers in the state, says the health reform bill will have little impact on those people initially.

"I think over the short term, you won't see a lot of changes. The majority of the insurance reforms go into place in 2014," Krystopolski said.

After 2014, the bill would mandate coverage for everyone. Krystopolski says that's likely to come at a price for those who already have health insurance.

"To assume you're going to cover a larger number of people who currently aren't insured and remove all of the under rating capabilities for companies and then assume premiums will drop is probably not realistic," Krystopolski said.

Paying for health care reform will also likely mean tax increases among other things.

"We are also going to see increase on fees. There are taxes that are implemented on medical devices companies, pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry and all of those will be passed on to the consumer," Krystopolski said.

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