Healthcare Roundtable Held At The Greater New Haven Chamber Of Commerce - Thursday, 05 March 2009 16:27

The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Chamber Insurance Trust of Orange, Connecticut, this morning hosted a roundtable discussion with local business leaders regarding their thoughts, concerns and questions pertaining to the present state of healthcare and healthcare insurance.  Stephen Glick, co-founder and president of Chamber Insurance Trust, served as moderator for the session and started the discussion off with a brief history of healthcare within the United States, beginning with the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) established in 1935.  Glick brought the group from that 1935 act through present day, identifying certain strategies and plan structures that have been established over that period of time.

The defining word of the day was complexity.  While many participants originally indicated that the cost of healthcare was their primary issue, as the discussion progressed it became clear that navigating the intricacies of healthcare insurance choices available to businesses is actually a much greater challenge.  “With the recent changes in COBRA and the ongoing increases in healthcare costs and options, it is essential for every business to have a champion in their corner that truly understands the nuances behind each program and plan option” said Stephen Glick. “The healthcare landscape is changing quickly and as additional detail is made available, there is a direct correlation to the confusion that exists” Glick added.

Glick emphasized that it is imperative to make sure that all aspects of a particular plan design be considered prior to implementation to ensure that the business remains in compliance with all the tax ramifications that may pertain to it.  “Continued education is necessary for a thorough understanding of the programs available and, more often than not, there is a gap that exists.  Without that perspective, it is difficult to impossible for anyone to gain a realistic viewpoint on an appropriate path forward.” Glick offered. 

At the conclusion of this one hour discussion, the consensus was that the information shared was highly valuable and the detail delivered had piqued the interests of many in the audience.  "There is a lot of information out there for people to wade through and there are various interpretations that agents and business leaders can make regarding the requirements for a plan design.  What is clear is that we need more education and that events such as this roundtable can stimulate thought and conversation so that the local chamber member better understands their options” said Susan Rapini, Director of Member Services for the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.  “Today's event was the first of a series of discussions that we will be offering our chamber members to assist them to deciding how best to proceed with their healthcare initiatives and decisions” Rapini added. 

During the roundtable, Rapini informed the audience that the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce was taking an additional step to further support the membership with their healthcare decision making by establishing an Insurance Resource Center within the Chapel Street location.  “It's clear that healthcare issues represent a top of mind concern for most business owners and that is not going to change anytime soon. Our Insurance Resource Center, formed in conjunction with Chamber Insurance Trust, will be staffed four to five days a week with dedicated agents that are CIT certified and local chamber members as well.  Their only goal will be to support our members as they wrestle with the complexities of making the proper decisions and planning about healthcare for their organizations” Rapini stated.

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