Maryland Auto Shop Owner Takes Health Care Story to Washington, DC

On March 22, Brian England, the owner of British American Auto Care in Columbia, Maryland, shared the story of how his business is benefiting from the Affordable Care Act at a press event with congressional leaders marking the two-year anniversary of the ACA. Brian offers health coverage for his employees, and saw his premiums go down 6 percent last year thanks to the ACA's 80/20 value for premiums rule.

Here's a copy of Brian's remarks at the event, as prepared for delivery:

Remarks of Brian England, owner of British American Auto Care in Columbia, Maryland
Washington, DC - March 22, 2012

Thank you for the opportunity to be here today and to share what health care reform has meant for our business.

We are a family business, and proud of it – my daughter works at the workshop with us. In fact, Sandi is here today with our grandson Lucas, who will be two soon.

We’re committed to offering insurance coverage to our employees, but over the past ten years it has become a real struggle to keep up with the costs. We’ve become accustomed to rates going up from 10-20 percent each year – sometimes even more – and we’ve had to look at many different ways to deal with the extra expense.

We’ve got a great agent who does a lot of research and works hard to find the best options for us. But in the end, we’re the ones who have to decide what to do – and we’re the ones who foot the bill.

We renew our insurance in August every year, so around June is when I usually start to get nervous. We heard a lot of speculation about how rates were going to go up even more because of health care reform.

When we sat down with our agent, I was bracing myself for the bad news. But when he gave us our quotes, my worry turned to disbelief. Our rates were going DOWN 6 percent! I almost fell off my chair. We had no major changes in our group, the same average age as the year before, the same policy… but our premiums were going down 6 percent.

Premiums going down – this had never happened before, not a single time in all the years we’ve been offering health coverage. On top of this, my agent informed me we were going to receive preventive care in our plan with no co-pays.

The first thing I asked was, “why?” I just couldn’t make sense of it. Our agent explained the rate cut was thanks to the medical loss ratio requirement in the Affordable Care Act. It’s a piece of the law that requires health insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect on actual health care costs.

As a small business owner, I’m committed to providing good value to our customers. It seems only fair that we should be able to expect the same from our health insurance companies.

We are so glad that at last something has been done about health care. I want to thank Leader Pelosi for her commitment to health care reform. I know it hasn’t been easy. But it’s making a difference – and every day, more and more small businesses are seeing the benefits.

The health care law is working for my business. It’s working in our community back home. It’s the right thing to do for America and for future generations. It passes this technician’s inspection test with flying colors. Thank you.