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health as it happens

Chamber in Hays working on health insurance for businesses - Hays Daily News

Insurance for some Hays-area businesses can cost $1,200 per employee a month, but those costs could be down to $450 per employee. The Chamber in Hays, Kansas, is working with other Kansas Chambers to give businesses health insurance options.

Heartland Benefits Group is working with the Chamber in Hays, Spring Hill, Norton and others across Kansas to make a statewide plan.

“Our focus is going to be on getting as many businesses to participate in the insurance pool as possible,” said Sarah Wasinger, president and CEO of the Chamber in Hays, Kansas. “The biggest concern we hear from employers across the community is that health insurance costs have just become something they can’t per se budget for because the year over year increase is becoming significant.”

Health insurance, vision, dental and pharmaceutical plans could all be part of the plan that might be released in August. Wasinger said the chamber was working on this last year, but businesses were hesitant to switch benefits during a pandemic.

The project has resumed and is available to any businesses part of the Hays Chamber of Commerce. A membership to the chamber is $280 a year but will rise to $300 a year in 2022.

Businesses should join the chamber by Dec. 2021 because the insurance pool could start on Jan. 1, 2022. Employers will send a health insurance questionnaire to every full time employee. The information will help Heartland Benefits determine what plans are best. Businesses can’t take the survey until Sept. 1, but they can contact the chamber to have the form sent over.

There will be a series of question and answer events for any employer interested in the program. Wasinger said at least 20 businesses are interested in joining.

“This is the way the Chamber in Hays can really reach out to help support our fellow business owners,” Wasinger said, adding that quality insurance plans can help businesses attract new employees.