How Topeka Chamber of Commerce president says Chamber Blue can help small businesses

The Greater Topeka Partnership is joining the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Kansas and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas to offer access to health insurance to local businesses through the Blue Chamber of Kansas.

The association’s health plan allows employers to join forces to purchase insurance.

This will be the second year the health insurance program is being offered as it offers savings associated with large group medical coverage.

Topeka Chamber of Commerce President Curtis Sneden told The Capital-Journal that the Blue Chamber will emerge as a beneficial way for members of the chamber to provide benefits to their employees.

The Greater Topeka Partnership website is sharing information about the Blue Chamber of Kansas.

The Greater Topeka Partnership website is sharing information about the Blue Chamber of Kansas.

“Insurance is premised on how many people are covered by your plan,” Sneden said. “The more people who are in your plan, then the more stable the rates are going to be, and presumably, hopefully over time, the more competitive those rates will be.”

What benefits will you gain with Chamber Blue?

Benefits of the Blue Chamber include a Blue Access Account that grants employees all-day access to manage their plan while understanding benefits, tracking health care costs, finding doctors and more, Sneden said.

Employees will have access to an extensive provider network of Kansas that has the ability to choose from doctors and hospitals within the service area, the GTP website said. The Blue Chamber offers exclusive discounts to optimize affordability for employees.

Prime therapeutics, life insurance (basic and voluntary), disability insurance, specialty benefits, and dental coverage are additional benefits included, it added

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With more businesses enrolled in the plan, Sneden said it could result in plan options with potentially lower costs.

Topeka’s chamber signed up last year, and more than 30 chambers of commerce in Kansas have partnered with BCBSKS.

“We’ve learned a lot,” Sneden said, “and we’re coming back around to once again tell our small businesses that among the benefits of being a member of either the partnership or in some other communities, their chamber there, access to affordable health care for their employees is a big new benefit for them.”

What do small business owners need to do for Blue Chamber coverage?

Enrollment for the program will be Nov. 1-15. Businesses interested in enrolling must complete an interest survey by Aug. 18.

To ensure your business meets the eligibility criteria for the Blue Chamber of Kansas, businesses need to make sure their entity qualifies as a small business hand has a staff ranging from two to 50 employees, the GTP website said.

A membership is required to participate in the program, but it will also allow for a business to become part of the movement of building a better and brighter future in Topeka, Sneden said.

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“You gain access to other businesses to collaborate with or potential new clients and customers,” he said. “There are all kinds of educational and informational programs that the organization puts on throughout the year.”

In an early July release, Tammi Cortez, chief operating officer of Cortez Transportation, said she enrolled her business in the Blue Chamber program last year to provide health care coverage to her employees.

“We recently expanded,” Cortez said, “and the Blue Chamber has proven to be a valuable tool that helps us with recruitment and retention. The coverage rates have been competitive, and we hope that as more local businesses realize the power of this plan, we’ll be able to work together to lower our rates and premiums even further.”

Keishera Lately is the business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @Lately_KT.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Topeka chamber urges small business members to consider Chamber Blue

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