The Sioux Falls ArgusLeader reports that healthreform.sd.gov was designed as a resource for consumers, employers and stakeholders in the health care industry. For example, the new health law creates a high-risk insurance pool for people who have been denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions, and the new Web site includes eligibility information about how people can qualify for coverage.
Also, starting January 1, 2014, employers with more than 50 full-time employees will be required to offer minimum essential health coverage or pay penalties, and the state Web site includes information about how the penalties are assessed, the news report said.
Governor Mike Rounds opposed the Affordable Care Act, in part because he and other governors argued the act would shift more costs onto states by increasing the eligibility for people to qualify for Medicaid, the state/federal program for the poor. “Whether or not we like the Affordable Care Act, it will touch the life of every South Dakotan in some manner,” Rounds said in a release, according to the ArgusLeader. “This new Web site will allow South Dakotans to better understand how the law will impact them.”David Hewett, president of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, said his organization is working on a calendar of dates for when certain provisions of the act go into effect.