What’s in a name? Plenty.

Rosalind Brazel / September 24, 2013

by Alex Fryer

The Fearey Group does a lot of health care-related work, and some of our staff have become experts on the Affordable Care Act. The other day we were plowing through some Obamacare materials when I fixated on the term “In-person Assistors.” These are folks who help patients receive coverage, either through expanded Medicare or the new insurance exchange. “In-person Assistors” seems like such a dull, bureaucratic name. Why not choose something snazzier, such as “Insurance Ambassadors” or “Health Concierges?” I was told the government chose “In-person Assistors” because the phrase can be easily translated into dozens of languages. That’s the level of granular detail that has gone into this effort. Right now, as you read this, the massive law is being transformed from words into action. Behind the scenes, hundreds of people are working throughout Washington state to make sure this landmark effort works as seamlessly as possible. There are even translators putting “In-person Assistors” into their native tongue. With all the noise generated by yet another congressional stand-off on health care reform, it’s good to know that, where it counts, there are smart people working hard on the details. They might even serve as an inspiration to those elected to represent us.