Indiana Chapter - American Planning Association

Planning, the Affordable Care Act, and Jobs

Posted on September 26th, by sburkhardt in APA Indiana, Conference, Economic Development, Health. No Comments

Did you know that one of the components of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare”, will impact the economic development potential of your community? Making our regions and state healthier will reduce the overall cost of group insurance plans for small businesses. A healthy community is not just about quality of life; it is about jobs!

A provision of the law will require health insurers to start using an “adjusted community rating” system to determine premiums for individuals and small groups. No longer will insurers be able to assess the risk based upon a pool of just the employees of an individual business, it will be based upon the health of all employees across all businesses in a zip code. This not only impacts insurance premiums on the new health care exchanges, but more importantly, impacts policies for small group plans too. The community’s health rating will have a direct impact on your community’s competitiveness in terms of the cost of doing business.

The change in the ratings system means a healthier community will have lower overall premiums, while an unhealthy community will have higher premiums. This will result in either a savings or an increased cost of doing business. We have already established the correlations between good planning, quality of life and health and now we have a direct tie to the economic competitiveness of where we live.  This is incredibly important because as the American Planning Association survey conducted last year showed, jobs is the number one issue people feel planners need to address.

So don’t let your community be left in the dust. Come join us on October 10th and 11th to learn how we can better impact the health of our communities, make our communities more economically competitive, and retain and create more jobs! For more information click here or visit

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