Chamber to offer medical plan to employers


Several Chambers of Commerce including the Galion-Crestline Chamber of Commerce are joining forces to provide a self-funded medical benefit plan for small employers with two to 50 employees.

The Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance recently received authorization from the Ohio Department of Insurance to form the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance Benefit Plan. The plan is a multiple employer welfare arrangement. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield provides claims administration and stop loss protection. Participating employers are required to maintain membership with the following authorized Chambers of Commerce: the Northern Ohio Area Chambers of Commerce, the Central Ohio Chambers of Commerce (which includes the Galion-Crestline Chamber), the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

Initially, distribution of the plan is limited to Anthem Champion and Elite brokers who have completed specified training and is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by participating employers.

State law requires the plan to have a minimum of 300 enrolled employees. Efforts are under way to begin operations on May 1, 2016 if the minimum enrollment is met.

“This is a great example of Chambers of Commerce and our partners throughout Ohio coming together for a common goal of providing value to the business community,” Matt Appenzeller, Executive Director for SOCA.

The authorization from the ODI comes after nearly three years of vetting the idea and planning among various partners, he said. The SOCA Benefit Plan will be initially offered through about 250 Chambers of Commerce.

“This new plan provides a great opportunity for our members to have more, and potentially lower cost, choices in Health Insurance offerings,” said Joe Kleinknecht, president of the Galion-Crestline Chamber.

Additional details regarding the plan will be disseminated in the coming months through SOCA, qualified Chambers of Commerce and brokers who are certified to sell the plan.

By Brandon Klein

[email protected]

Reach Klein at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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