Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce


Consider your health care options for 2016 now


Although 2016 is more than four months away, it's not too early for employers to start thinking about their health care options for next year. 

Independent Health recently learned that our small group and individual premiums rate adjustments for 2016 were approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). In fact, our rate adjustments will reduce small group monthly premiums by an average of 6.19 percent and range from a decrease of 16.8 percent to an increase of 1.8 percent. 

We will soon unveil our full offering of plans and rates for the coming year. Our plans for 2016 will continue to offer:

More than 60 $0 preventive services. All of our preventive services are even excluded from deductibles, so those enrolled in a deductible plan can enjoy $0 preventive services right from the start of their plan. 

A telemedicine benefit. Members can speak directly to a national network of board-certified doctors, 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Teladoc. Using this benefit is a convenient way to receive advice and treatment for minor illnesses when your primary care doctor is not available. 

The nutrition benefit. With this popular benefit, members receive $1 back in rewards for every $2 they spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at Tops Markets. Members can earn up to $1,000 on their produce purchases each year on a family plan and up to $500 on a single plan, with the benefit rewards tracked through the Tops BonusPlus Program. 

With all of the health plan choices out in the market, it's important to consider the best value, long-term savings, depth of provider network and customer service. Choosing a plan that has a strong, collaborative relationship with providers can result in better coordinated care for your employees. For example, Independent Health's partnerships with its participating physicians, such as The Primary Connection and Catholic Medical Partners, promote and advance the concept of better coordinated care.

Also, 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. Third party rankings and customer satisfaction survey results are often a good indication of how satisfied you and your employees will be. 

Through our partnerships with The Primary Connection and Catholic Medical Partners to better coordinate and deliver care, as well as our innovative product and benefit offerings designed to engage our members in their health, we're making incremental progress in lowering medical cost trends, as evident by our 2016 rates.

Start planning now.  In the end, you don't have to go it alone as there are many health plan options to choose from. Contact the Amherst Chamber for assistance or your Independent Health representative. 




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