Public opinion on Medicare at the time it was created was as divided on that issue as it is on the health care reform legislation now – but nearly 40 years later, Medicare is critical to the health and well being of millions of Americans, according to this article published just before the reform bill passed.

I’m Bryce Williams, founder, president and CEO of Extend Health. My position at the helm of the largest private Medicare insurance exchange gives me plenty of opportunity to see first  hand the challenges facing individuals who have long depended on their employer’s retirement benefits for health insurance but are being asked to take responsibility for their own health care decisions and coverage.

It also gives me a unique perspective on how health care policy and financial accounting rules affect the growing US retiree population as well as public and private sector organizations and ultimately the US economy.

When companies first decide to move from a group retiree plan, it may feel like a longstanding promise is being broken. In reality, making this move lets employers keep and sustain their promises.

 I’m happy to report that most of the folks we work with end up with better coverage than they had under their old group insurance policy – most of the time for less money. Meanwhile their former employer is able to reduce the fiscal burden on the company while still taking care of its retiree population – a true win win situation for everyone involved.

And that’s what Extend Health is all about: removing wasteful spending on healthcare coverage so everyone benefits. Medicare recipients get the best value for their coverage dollar, while corporations improve their financial position and sustain the promise of helping subsidize retiree coverage for a far longer period of time. For our growing public sector clients, we taxpayers get more buying power to support retiree healthcare coverage for our city’s or county’s employees –all without breaking the bank or contributing to a potential bond default in a tough economy.  

The Extend Health blog is a place for us to share our retirees’ and clients’ experience with a Medicare exchange, let you know what’s happening on the front lines of Medicare, and provide links to timely, interesting and useful news and information for all of our community. We’ll keep our finger on the pulse of developments in this field and offer our thoughts on ways to make things better.

We are excited about developing another way to talk to members of the Extend Health Community and look forward to beginning another dialog.  We’re also interested in recruiting some of our retiree community to contribute to the blog– we’d love to hear your perspective and learn from your experience.  Please feel free to leave a comment here, or email me, ceo@extendhealth.com, or my team, blog@extendhealth.com, if you’re interested in contributing.