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NewsTalk

Welcome to the archives for NewsTalk, an IBJ blog published from November 2007 through December 2010.

Would health reform spark exodus of best, brightest?

March 15, 2010

Lots of angles of health care reform have been debated to death, but not this one: Guaranteed availability of insurance might be just what top employees in many  organizations are waiting for to bolt for the exits.

That’s the thinking of long-time human resources expert Karl Ahlrichs, who is writing a book about the topic. Ahlrichs recently joined Gregory & Appel Insurance as a benefits consultant.

Ahlrichs is hard-pressed to predict how many people would quit their jobs. Maybe just a relative few, maybe more.

But he thinks a number of baby boomers who currently are rejected for health insurance for various reasons would try something else if they could be assured of getting coverage—even if it cost upward of $10,000 per person.

They might start a business or take a couple of part-time jobs they enjoy. Perhaps they’d grab a part-time job and spend the balance of their time helping a favorite charity.

What most organizations don’t realize is, the best and brightest will take advantage of the opportunity first, Ahlrichs says. “The people who will leave are the good ones. The people who will stay are the mediocre ones.”

Ultimately, he adds, health reform might result in redistributing talent from poorly managed organizations to places that add more value to society.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Ahlrichs?

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