The Greater Akron Chamber and SummaCare have partnered to offer a health care plan to small-business owners.

The Greater Akron Chamber said on Monday that it had received a certificate of authority from the state to begin offering what's called a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) to provide health benefits for companies of 50 or fewer employees. The chamber and Akron-based SummaCare will offer the Chamber Health Benefits Plan to businesses in a 16-county service area.

“Our MEWA will provide a cost-effective solution for small businesses as they try to control the costs of providing health benefits for their employees,” said Steve Millard, president and CEO of the Greater Akron Chamber, in a news release. “We’re excited to expand our offerings through SummaCare, a company that has been a partner to the Chamber for almost 20 years in offering our small business members savings on health insurance premiums.”

COSE, the Council on Smaller Enterprises, offers a similar plan to small businesses through Medical Mutual of Ohio.

To enroll in the SummaCare plan, businesses must be a member of the Greater Akron Chamber.

Employers can select from multiple SummaCare plan designs and networks.

The plan "allows small businesses to pool their risk by enrolling in a self-funded plan," said Kevin Cavalier, vice president of sales at SummaCare. "The premium savings, rate stability and protection against unexpected claims costs should make this plan very attractive to local employers.”

The Chamber Health Benefits Plan will be sold through area brokers. Quoting has begun on the plan with the first effective dates being Jan. 1. For more information, employers can talk to their broker, call the Greater Akron Chamber at 330-434-7283 or go to www.greaterakronchamber.org/MEWA.

 

Beacon Journal consumer columnist and medical reporter Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or blinfisher@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/BettyLinFisherABJ