FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
CONTACT: Erika Efthymiou
Local Business Leader Attends White House
Briefing on Health Care Innovation
Charlotte, NC – Chris Efthymiou, co-founder and CEO of Health Insurance Geeks (HIG), joined other business leaders from across the country at the White House on March 11 to brief administration officials on ways to encourage innovation and use new technologies to improve America’s health system.
Efthymiou participated in the briefing to offer advice about the current state of employer-based health insurance. As a consumer-oriented health plan expert, Efthymiou expressed concerns about the inability to offer individually underwritten insurance products to employees through pre-tax payroll deduction.
“Small and mid-sized companies are clamoring for a way to pay for employees’ private insurance as opposed to offering employer-sponsored health insurance,” said Efthymiou. “This shift is very similar to what we saw when 401 (k) plans took over the role of employer-paid pensions. We are at the beginning of this defined contribution approach to health insurance, though we have regulatory change that still needs to happen.”
“I was so delighted to be invited to this event at The White House. I am excited that the administration requested follow-up sessions to allow us to refine proposed solutions that we know our clients need.”
At the briefing, administration officials updated the business leaders on Affordable Care Act implementation and outlined several initiatives to use technology to make health care more accessible. They also focused on the new health care economy, public-private partnerships, and opportunities to make the system more efficient and responsive.
“Business leaders bring a results-oriented approach to health care,” said Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward, a national coalition that facilitated the White House meeting. “They don’t agree with each other or the administration on every point when it comes to health care policies, but they understand innovative solutions are the only way to create jobs and move the health care industry forward.”
Senior White House officials who participated in the briefing included:Ned Holland, assistant secretary for Administration, US Department of Health & Human ServicesDavid Simas, assistant to the President & director of the Office of Political Strategy, The White House Dr. Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, national coordinator for Health Information Technology
Dr. Patrick Conway, MD, deputy administrator for Innovation, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Claudia Williams, senior health & health IT advisor, Office of Science & Technology, The White House
Andrew McMahon, senior advisor to the administrator, General Services Administration Sol Ross, director of Private Sector Engagement, US Department of Health & Human Services Sam Brown, director, White House Business Council
About Health Insurance Geeks
HIG is an innovative insurance brokerage focused on streamlining cost-effective health insurance, payroll, compliance and human resources. Having just re-launched in 2014, HIG already has nearly 200 clients covering about 4,500 employees.
HIG works with start-ups and high-growth companies with just a few employees, as well as companies and franchises with thousands of employees. Its leadership team has a combined 40 years of experience at some of the largest financial services firms and brokerages in the world. HIG brings high-level consulting expertise to organizations lacking extensive human resources and employee benefits staff and structure.
About Business Forward
With the help of more than 50 of the world’s most respected companies, Business Forward is making it easier for tens of thousands of business leaders from across America to advise Washington on how to create jobs and accelerate our economic recovery. Together, it has organized hundreds of local briefings with more than 450 senior administration officials, members of Congress, mayors and governors.
To date, the organization has brought more than 3,000 business leaders to the White House to brief the President’s economic advisors. Business leaders who have participated in these briefings have seen their suggestions implemented in the Affordable Care Act, the Jobs Act, three trade agreements and every one of the President’s budgets. Many have also shared their recommendations with their representatives in Congress and through op-eds and interviews with local media. Ninety-eight out of 100 business leaders who have participated in a Business forward briefing would be interesting in participating in another.