In this September Issue...
-Message from the President/CEO: Open Enrollment!
-Have a Health Insurance Question?: Contact our Team
-Independent Health: Questions to Ask Before Selecting Group Health Coverage
-Windsong Radiology: Are You Getting Screened for Cancer?
-Kaleida Health VIDEO: What is a Hospitalist?
-What's for Dinner?: Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone
Message from President/CEO A.J. Baynes
Open Enrollment 2020

This Open Enrollment season, be sure to use your Amherst Chamber membership to find health, dental and vision coverage that fits your needs and budget in the coming year. Our Health Insurance Division has three licensed brokers ready to help you review and select the right plan(s) for your Sole Proprietorship or Small Group business (with employees) in 2020. Early indications are that rate increases will be modest. 

Personal and employee benefits are important business decisions and generate many questions and concerns. The good news is that we’re again providing answers. 
·         Look for a special 2020 Open Enrollment edition of this newsletter, including a fall schedule of Health Insurance Open Houses.
·         Rates for Chamber Small Group plans will be available early October; Individual plan rates will be available later that month.

In need of coverage between now and year-end? Give us a call to discuss at 716-632-6905.

ACH is now an added premium payment option

Enhancing services and potential savings for our members is always a goal and subscribing business now have an ACH (Bank to Bank) premium payment option available with only a 1% service fee. 

You may now choose to setup one of the following:
·       ACH (payment through your bank with only a 1% fee)    *OR*
·       ​Credit Card (3% fee)
​Members who would rather continue to utilize their credit card to reap awards/points may continue to do so; ACH is an now an additional option. Check payments are still accepted with no bank fees.
 
To add your new Credit Card profile *OR* setup the ACH option, please login to the Amherst.org Member Information Center here .
 
As always, please reach out to us for assistance by calling (716) 632.6905.
Your Amherst Chamber of Commerce licensed brokers are here to help!
Penny LaPlaca
Christine Langenfeld
Olivia Dann
VIDEO: What is a Hospitalist?
MEDICALLY SPEAKING: The Role of a Hospitalist
If you have been in the hospital, you may have been treated by a hospitalist. What are their credentials and why is their role growing in health care today? WATCH this month's Kaleida Health video!
Questions to Ask Before Selecting Group Health Coverage
 
Selecting health insurance can be complex and complicated. Here are three key questions to ask that can help benefit managers make the right choice for their business and their employees: 

1.       What plan provides the best value for your health care dollar?
Health coverage is among the fastest-growing costs for businesses across the nation, so employers should look beyond premiums and more into the value-added benefits and cost share levels of the plan options. Compare benefits “line by line” to ensure their employees get the type of coverage they need and deserve.

“The premium of a plan is certainly a consideration, but quality and value should be considered as well,” said Richard Argentieri, Senior Vice President of Sales, Independent Health. “Lower premium plans tend to have higher out-of-pocket costs, whereas higher premium plans often offer enhanced services and greater value.”

A report by Integrated Benefits Institute found that lost productivity from illness costs employers $530 billion annually. Because there's a strong link between better health and better job performance, it’s a good idea for employers to check to see what types of resources, tools and programs the plan offers that can help keep employees as healthy and productive as possible.

2.       What is the size and depth of a plan’s provider network?
The larger the network of providers and specialists, the easier it is for members to access appropriate care. Certain plans work more closely with providers to improve quality, contain costs, eliminate wasteful spending, and enhance efficiencies.

“Choosing a plan that has a strong, collaborative relationship with providers can result in better coordinated care for your employees and lower overall costs,” said Argentieri.

3.       What is the plan’s customer service reputation?
Employers and their employees will have questions and need help with their coverage. Pick a plan that understands the local market and has a reputation for excellence in member service and satisfaction so when you have questions, getting answers is easy.

“The fewer customer service issues your employees have, the fewer issues you’ll have to deal from a human resources perspective,” said Argentieri. “Check the annual third-party rankings and customer satisfaction survey results, such as the NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings and J.D. Power’s Commercial Member Health Plan Study, to learn how well the plan takes care of its members when they need services.”

Choosing the right health plan is an important decision for employees and businesses alike. By asking a few simple questions and doing a little homework, health benefit managers will be well-positioned to make the right choice for everyone.
Cancer Screening Saves Lives
 
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than half of all cancer deaths could be prevented if people adopted cancer prevention measures including routine check-ups. Fortunately, advanced imaging technology can have a profound impact on the ability to manage and prevent cancer.
 
The importance of screening for breast cancer has been and continues to be well recognized, however lung cancer is actually the number one cause of cancer related deaths in men and women. Although poorly utilized, lung cancer screening has a remarkable ability to catch cancer early and save lives. Statistics show that patients who choose to be screened for lung cancer prior to symptoms arising are likely to be diagnosed at earlier stages than unscreened patients.
 
Windsong takes great pride in being the first designated lung cancer screening facility in the area and although lung cancer may be the number one cause of cancer related deaths in men and women, the leading cause of death in men is prostate cancer . Men who exhibit elevated PSA levels that indicate a suspicion of prostate cancer are typically referred for ultrasound-guided biopsy. Unfortunately, this procedure carries risks such as infection and potential false negative results. Safer, more precise screening is now available. 
 
According to Windsong Radiologist, Dr. Raja Cheruvu, 3T MRI screening for prostate cancer has revolutionized how we diagnose prostate cancer, enabling Windsong’s radiologists to find disease earlier , when it is more easily treated. As an early adopter of this technique which offers increased sensitivity and improved accuracy in localizing prostate cancer, Windsong has the ability to better visualize suspected prostate cancer and many times effectively eliminate the need for an ultrasound guided biopsy.
 
Individuals should talk to their doctor about their family risk and get screened regularly. To schedule your screening appointment, contact Windsong at 716.631.2500 or visit windsongradiology.com to request an appointment.
What's for Dinner: Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone
Fall is here and nothing warms your soul on a chilly night like a hearty soup. This slow-cooked beef minestrone is one of the highly-rated recipes from Wegmans. Check it out here!
 Amherst Chamber of Commerce | (P) 716.632.6905 | (F) 716.632.0548 | www.amherst.org