In this December Issue...
- Message from the CEO
- Health Insurance Q&A
- Independent Health: Have Fun and Stay Healthy from the Holidays Through the New Year
- NYS Seeking Hosts for Free Narcan Overdose Rescue Training
- Featured Recipe
Message from the CEO

The recent Tax Reform ruling in Washington will result in the repeal of the Individual Mandate for Health Insurance. That means that individuals will no longer be assessed a penalty should they choose not to secure health insurance. However, we recommend that everyone give serious consideration to maintaining coverage. We recognize the burden increased premium costs puts on individuals and that if you are young and healthy you feel that being uninsured is an appropriate risk to take. Paying out of pocket for a flu shot or going to the Dr. once a year for a sinus infection, compared to the cost of an annual premium seems like a good tradeoff. But, what if you fall on the ice and break your leg? That certainly isn’t a life altering health issue but could cost you thousands and thousands of dollars in medical fees. There are health care plans that are low cost and provide coverage for major health conditions that everyone should consider. For more information, call one of our in house staff at 632-6905.

Another longer term ramification of this ruling is the impact it will have on health care premiums in the future. The Affordable Care Act included Essential Benefits and health care provisions predicated on increased enrollment. With more people, especially the younger and healthier population, paying into health care, the pool utilized to pay claims increased. If the young and healthy drop out and the bucket that pays claims decreases, everyone can expect premiums to continue to soar and benefits continue to be diluted. 

Everyone involved in the health care industry recognizes that we have significant challenges in our country. We need to find a way to provide basic care to our citizens, simultaneous to funding providers in a sustainable manner. A transition from a fee for services to value based care is a concept currently being developed that is a long term solution but everyone needs to be part of this dialogue and part of the resolution. The Amherst Chamber of Commerce will continue to participate in efforts to communicate our members concerns with the decision makers and continue to report to you any improvements or changes that could impact you.
Health Insurance Q&A
Under 30? You are Eligible for a Low Cost Catastrophic Health Plan
For the young and healthy, a Catastrophic Plan may be an affordable way to protect yourself from worst-case scenarios, like serious illness or injury. Available to those under 30, it is a type of plan that offers lower-than-average premium in exchange for higher-than-average deductibles.

Under health care reform, a Catastrophic plan still covers 100% of preventive care at no cost, even before you pay the deductible, when services are delivered by a doctor or provider in your plan network.

As with any health plan, it is important to look at the out-of-pocket maximum feature. In a Catastrophic plan this is a high number, so it is important to assess if you could afford that amount should the unexpected happen. But looking at it another way, if you end up with a $30,000 bill (the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay) you will only pay expenses up to the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum.

If you are under 30, a Catastrophic health plan can be a good safety net to protect you in case of unexpected medical costs. Contact any of the Amherst Chamber’s three staff health insurance brokers for more information at 716-632-6905 or email
Your Amherst Chamber of Commerce licensed brokers
are here to help!
Call the Chamber offices at 632-6905 to get your questions answered.  
Have Fun and Stay Healthy from the Holidays Through the New Year
The holiday season is the time of year when many of us look to the New Year to turn over a new leaf. We also know that the holiday celebrations and foods make it difficult to stay focused on exercise and nutrition. That’s why we offer a number of fun, easy ways to help encourage activities and making healthy choices all through the year – some even offer rewards for doing so. 

NYS Seeking Hosts for Free Narcan Overdose Rescue Training
In response to the opioid epidemic, NY State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) offers free Narcan overdose rescue training to communities and organizations with the intent to train thousands. 

Under a federal grant, this training enables participants to recognize, respond to and reverse a suspected opioid overdose using a personal Narcan rescue kit (provided). The training takes about an hour, and is open to first responders and other likely overdose witnesses 16 years and older. 

NYS OASAS is seeking hosts to sponsor and promote local events. Interested organizations or community representatives can contact Skip Zimmerman at (518) 485-0705 or to schedule an instructor and help save lives.
Featured Recipe
Spiced Hot Fruit Bake

A healthy breakfast for this holiday season, this Spiced Hot Fruit Bake is gluten free and vegan friendly. Delicious on its own, this fruit bake is also great as a topping to waffles or pancakes.

Or, make it a dessert, by serving it over some frozen yogurt, yum!

Click here for the recipe. 
 Amherst Chamber of Commerce | (P) 716.632.6905 | (F) 716.632.0548 |