Chamber to help small businesses with health insurance
Published 7:35 am Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Since Sept. 1, small businesses in Boyle County have been able to participate in a health insurance plan rolled out by the Danville-Boyle County Chamber.
“One of the biggest costs to businesses is health insurance, if they’re able to offer that at all,” said Paula Fowler, executive director of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber.
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In 2004, the chamber instituted a program that allowed the county’s small businesses to partner with businesses in another town, to purchase insurance. Following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Fowler said there were changes that stopped the program.
“We’ve been trying to find something since,” she said.
Now, joining the St. Matthews Chamber Trade Association plan, they are able to offer that insurance again.
“We are excited to be able to offer this. I think it’s going to be able to save businesses some money,” said Fowler.
There will be over 16 fully-insured plans to choose from.
Any business with between two and 99 employees can qualify for the program, as long as they are registered with the Secretary of State’s office, said John Funkhouser, co-owner and vice president of Johnson-Pohlmann, which is handling the quotes — it does not have to be a brick and mortar business.
The Affordable Care Act currently requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide insurance, he said.
“Most of the small businesses looking at this are doing it because they want to attract and retain quality people,” Funkhouser said.
The businesses that participate are expected to save money through the partnership, because they are “pooling people together.”
“Purchasing power comes with numbers,” Fowler said. “We are taking smaller businesses and grouping them together to create that larger pool.”
So far, the response has been “outstanding” he said.
“We’ve had a lot of interest,” she said. “This gives our businesses another option to look at.”
One business has joined the Chamber, because it is going to end up saving over $24,000 next year — a savings Fowler said is “probably atypical.”
“I don’t know that everyone will save that amount. But I do think that the majority of businesses that look into this will save money … it’s a really good opportunity for some of our businesses to save some money.”
SO YOU KNOW
Businesses interested in learning more can contact John Funkhouser at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (859) 236-5922. Any business with 50 or more full-time employees is required to provide insurance. To participate in the plans through the Chamber, businesses must have between two and 99 employees, and must be a registered business with the Secretary of State.