Northern Ohio Area Chambers of Commerce (NOACC) has joined forces with the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance (SOCA) in a collaborative effort with the Central Ohio Chambers of Commerce, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber to form a self-funded medical benefit plan aimed at small employers with 2 to 50 employees.
SOCA recently received authorization from the Ohio Department of Insurance to form the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance Benefit Plan. This Plan will be available to businesses through their membership in the chamber associations and chambers mentioned above.
The SOCA Benefit Plan (hereafter, 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 a Chamber of Commerce that is authorized to offer the Plan. Initially, distribution of the Plan is limited to Anthem Champion and Elite brokers who have completed specified training. The Plan 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.
The authorization from the ODI comes after nearly three years of vetting the idea and planning among various partners, according to Matt Appenzeller, Executive Director for SOCA. “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,” he said. “We have great partners. I think we’re all pretty excited to get started.” The SOCA Benefit Plan will be offered through approximately 250 Chambers of Commerce initially.
“NOACC is very pleased to be able to offer a new opportunity to our members that ultimately increases the value of their chamber membership while providing savings on the health insurance that is important in keeping our businesses competitive. We are looking forward to working with SOCA and the other chambers in Ohio to make this viable for everyone” said Vicky Hawke, Executive Director of NOACC.
Additional details regarding the Plan will be disseminated in the coming months through qualified Chambers of Commerce and brokers certified to sell the Plan in Ohio.