Event focuses on healthcare changes

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The South Central Health Policy Summit will be held from 4- 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Eclipse Center in Beloit.

This event is sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of Health Underwriters (WAHU) with major local sponsor Beloit Health System and in conjunction with the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, Forward Janesville, LifeCircle Financial Planning, Tricor Insurance and Blackhawk Bank.

The goal of the event is to let employers and those in human resources know how to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and new healthcare mandates and be informed about options open to them. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, and to chat with industry and policy experts.

Pre-registration for the event is required by Oct. 26 and those interested are urged to contact Wisconsin Association of Health Underwriters (WAHU) Kathy Midak at 608-395-6709 or e-mail her at kjm@dewittross.com soon, as registrations are limited. Members of WAHU and both Chambers are free, but there is a nominal charge of $5 for non-members.

Blackhawk Bank Vice President and HSA Business Development Officer Paula Colling, also the president of the South Central Regional chapter of WAHU, said she is expecting around 150 people to attend the event. She maintains that with renewal season upon them, many employers are confused about what to do now, as well as what may be in store regarding employee benefits within the next few years. Colling said there are phases of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act already being implemented, and parts which will be phased in during the coming years that are important for employers to understand now so that they are in a strong position when the time comes.

She added that it’s crucial for business owners to know specifics regarding the new law. For example, those businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from having to provide health insurance. However, such smaller employers may opt to offer health insurance at a reasonable cost by participating in a Small Business Health Options Program exchange.

Colling also mentioned that there are penalties involved for non-compliance, and penalties related to providing insurance that is “too expensive.”

“Our goal for this summit is to answer questions like these. We know that many people are confused and need good information,” Colling said.

She said the South Central Health Policy Summit includes non-partisan and bi-partisan support, and endorsement from the Greater Beloit Chamber and Forward Janesville specifically for that reason.

Additionally WAHU will attract members from all over the region, extending north to Madison, and west into Green County. Both Chambers will staff the event, and Beloit Health Systems will have informational materials available.

“I believe this event is a service that will provide highly valuable information to businesses in our region. Additionally, it’s a fantastic way to showcase Beloit to folks who will come from all of these surrounding areas,” Colling said.

The event will feature a welcome by Colling, keynote address by Susan Sieger, panelists state Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, and Vice President of Tricor Insurance Jeff Klett. There will be a question-and-answer session followed by networking. Attendees will enjoy light hors d’oeuvres sponsored by LifeCircle, along with a cash bar. This event will also serve as continuing education for insurance agents who wish to attend for this purpose and pay a small fee.

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