Chamber of Commerce partners with UHC, offers small businesses health care plans
The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with UnitedHealthcare (UHC) to launch the UnitedHealthcare Community Chamber Program.
This is a statewide program that allows the partnering counties’ Chamber of Commerce to deliver a wide variety of health plans for businesses.
Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Metz said she has been working on this project with UHC for two years to launch this program. Shelby County is the first in the state to take part in this project.
“Small businesses will have an opportunity to bring rates to employees that are typically only offered to large business,” she said.
The “large business savings” this partnership offers includes potential savings of up to 25 percent on medical premiums, compared to other UnitedHealthcare plans in Indiana, access to a large local and national network (including 1.1 million doctors and health care professionals and more than 6,000 hospitals), and additional savings of up to 4 percent on monthly premiums if a business offers a UnitedHealthcare specialty plan (dental, vision, etc.) alongside one’s medical plan.
“Healthcare is a big issue, especially with local businesses,” Metz said. “If they could have the potential to save 25 percent on their healthcare, that would make a big impact on their bottom line at the end of the year.”
“Through this two year process, we faced a lot of disappointments at times, where we thought we would be able to offer a thing, but a federal judge ruled against it,” she added. “This project is actually better for the employer than any other things we looked at in the past.”
Plan designs include built-in pharmacies, wellness rewards for employees, and $0 copays for virtual care visits.
“There’s a wellness program built into the plan, so if employees take part in the wellness program, like walking, they can earn dollars, and the employer can get a reimbursement of their premiums they’ve paid throughout the year,” she said. “That’s a pretty exciting thing... a chamber director taking a check to one of their chamber members to reimburse their premiums.”
This program also provides incentives for small businesses (2-50 employees) to join the Shelby County Chamber, because it is offered to chamber members at a discount.
“Many times if a business isn’t involved with the chamber, they can find the (healthcare) savings they can achieve can cover the Shelby County Chamber membership [cost to join], if they aren’t a current member,” she said.
Businesses can get this process started by working with their local agent, Metz said. The Shelby County Chamber will introduce and invite other Indiana chambers to partner with them to offer this program to their member businesses as well.
“I just want to say that we’re so happy to be partnering with such a great organization. I think UHC has a great reputation and they chose us to help them lead this program. Just having the opportunity to bring these potential savings to Shelby County is very rewarding to say ‘hey, we’ve got something that can help you.’”