New options for small business health care coming
Chamber hosting ShawHankins to provide information about new Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Georgia Chamber of Commerce
One of the biggest problems a small business owner can face is the cost of covering themselves and employees with health insurance.
Large companies and local governments have some ability with the help of businesses like ShawHankins to bring those costs down, but in the case of an employer who might only have ten people on staff or less, that negotiating power is lessened since they aren’t spending large amounts for premiums annually.
Now there’s a new option for small businesses who are looking for affordable health care options with the same coverage level offered to larger organizations.
The Polk County Chamber of Commerce is bringing ShawHankins to the Richardson Field Depot on Tuesday, December 4 for a breakfast meeting to discuss this new SMART option, or the Small Group Employer ASO Rated Trust plan.
Chamber Executive Director Blair Elrod said it was an initiative put together by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Blue Cross-Blue Shield through their Anthem coverage to allow small businesses from two to 50 employees to work as one large group plan.
“When small businesses go to get insurance, it’s at an astronomical cost and sometimes can’t afford it,” she said. “Now there’s going to be an option where our small businesses can enroll in healthcare that is more affordable, and have their coverage be part of a larger pool where the risk is shared statewide.”
The Dec. 4 breakfast meeting is set to start at 8 a.m. and last an hour and half, with breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A.
“All of our small businesses locally can come and hear about the plan and see if it is something they are interested in taking part in,” Elrod said.
The new plan will be selffunded from participants to spread the risk out, Elrod explained. She said as well the plans will be flexible and provide predictable, fixed monthly payments for businesses as well for premiums. ShawHankins said in a promotion for the new plan that it could provide as much as 40 percent lower rates than current ACA rates.
Elrod said additionally dental, vision, life and disability insurance are among the options available for those who want to participate as well at discounted rates via the Chamber’s SMART Plan.
There are some stipulations for taking part. Employers interested in the shared coverage can have no more than 50 on staff, and have to be headquartered and operating in Georgia. Additionally, they have to be good members in standing with dues paid to the Chamber of Commerce.
Elrod said the plan is also being presented to businesses locally in Paulding, Floyd and Bartow counties.
Anyone wanting more information can contact Elrod ahead of the meeting by e-mail at direc[email protected] polkgeorgia.com, or call 678-883-9255.