Health insurance: Get your questions answered at an enrollment session
By TODD TRANUM
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
The Chamber has been receiving many calls and emails recently about the changing face of health insurance. Understanding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is difficult because health insurance is complicated to begin with and the application of new rules creates yet another layer of challenge.
The good news is that if your business is currently enrolled with the Chamber of Commerce Bright Choices benefits program, you can maintain your current benefits offerings. Whether you are a sole proprietor or a group of 2 to 50 employees you can keep the benefits that you have through the Bright Choices program. If you have never considered the Chamber's Bright Choices program, right now is the time to do it. If you are not quite sure what to do, please see us as a resource to help you.
To get answers to your questions, we invite you to attend one of the Chamber's health insurance information and enrollment sessions for both current subscribers and non-subscribers. They will be held at both 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on the following days: Tuesday, Oct. 1 in the Weeks Reception Room on the Jamestown campus of JCC; and again on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator, Central Avenue, Dunkirk. Registration is not required for these events, which are free and open to all. We are also in the process of planning a series of Chamber enrollment sessions throughout the county.
All of these sessions will include an overview of the ACA, the Bright Choices program, and new offerings available through the New York state exchange. Our goal is to present the customer with the best possible health insurance plan option whether it is available through the state exchange or outside the state exchange.
In addition, the Chamber is partnering with the Small Business Development Center in Chautauqua County to assist with information and resources to help businesses learn about the ACA. The SBDC will hold a free informational session on Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Carnahan Building on JCC's Jamestown campus. Registration is requested for this event. To register, call 338-1024.
When your business needs health insurance, your first call should be to the Chamber of Commerce. We will guide you through the maze of products to find what's right for you.
Chamber member benefits added
Members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce can add two new benefits to the already long list available: Sam's Club Certificates and discounted Buffalo Bills tickets!
From now through Dec. 31, Chamber members can receive a $25 Sam's Club Gift Card when they join or renew as a Plus Member, or a $10 gift card when they join or renew as a Business or Advantage Member. Chamber members can request a certificate for this benefit by stopping at the Chamber offices in either Dunkirk or Jamestown, or by calling 366-6200 or 484-1101.
The Buffalo Bills have an exclusive online offer for $7 to $15 off per ticket for the following games: Sept. 14 vs. Carolina Panthers; Oct. 13 vs. Cincinnati Bengals; Nov. 17 vs. New York Jets; or Dec. 22 vs. Miami Dolphins. There is also a special $25 ticket available for Chamber members for the Nov. 3 game against the Kansas City Chiefs - over a 50 percent discount off the individual game ticket rate. This offer will be available by email only for Chamber members. If you do not receive the promo link by email, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101.
Save the date - Chamber Awards Banquet Oct. 17
The Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet will be held once again this year at the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia. Reconstructed last year, the Williams Center is a beautiful, multi-use facility at the heart of the Fredonia campus.
The Awards Banquet is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 17. It will pay tribute to not only the Chamber's Economic Development Award winner and Person of the Year, but also to the Community Service Award winners chosen by each of the six Community Chambers in Chautauqua County: Dunkirk, Fredonia, Hanover, Jamestown, Mayville-Chautauqua, and Westfield-Barcelona.
All of the award winners will be announced shortly and invitations will be mailed to all Chamber members in the weeks ahead. For now, put this event on your calendar. It is the largest, single-business event in Chautauqua County each year, bringing together some 400 business people in once place. We hope to see you there.
Colors of Chautauqua: A fall festival of learning
Chautauqua: The World's Learning Center has planned another season of adventure with the Colors of Chautauqua festival from September through November. You can join a Plein Air painting class or a Farm to Table dinner; take a walking tour of Jamestown's historic districts, or treat yourself to the story of 150 years of grape growing in Chautauqua County.
For details on the Colors of Chautauqua fall festival, contact the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau at 357-4569 or find them online at www.tourchautauqua.com.