A Children’s Activity Tour, Atypical School Lunch Featured at Business After Hours at Danville Child Development Center

Edible play-dough, indoor snow made from a mix of baking soda and other ingredients, and catching fish you couldn’t see in the pond were among the several children’s activities that Danville Child Development Center’s children do each day and were also experienced by attendees at a Business After Hours hosted by DCDC on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Members were given a card when they walked into the event and were given a sticker to put on it after they completed each children’s activity, and those that completed each one and got all of their stickers were able to enter a drawing for a prize – tickets to DCDC’s upcoming Dueling Pianos event. In between reliving their childhoods by participating in these children’s activities, members also had an opportunity to catch up with and meet others in the local business community, while also learning about the influence early childhood education plays in our future workforce. They also enjoyed some delicious food made specially for the event by the DCDC kitchen staff, which definitely tasted much better than the typical school lunch that many may have remembered from their school days. 

Business After Hours provide regular opportunities to build business relationships while learning about the services offered by other Chamber members. The next Business After Hours will be held at Art of Floating, located at 1924 Old Berwick Rd., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. It will also feature Just a Drop as a co-host. 

Strategy and Analysis: How Alternate Funding and Tools Can Help Control Small Group Health Plans

From ChamberChoice and Smart Business Pittsburgh

Today’s health care environment is riddled with complex plan designs and rigorous government regulations, leaving many employers to feel as though their hands are tied when it comes to finding unique, innovative and cost-saving solutions.

But a new concept is emerging that will enable small employers to identify current and future risk, influence behavior and control costs. 

Smart Business spoke with Aaron Ochs, a consultant at JRG Advisors, about strategic analysis and risk management in the small group health insurance market.

How is the small group health insurance market changing?
Typically, small employers have been unable to maximize the value of their medical benefits due to lack of claims utilization and analysis from their insurance company. In the typical buying arrangement, the small group market is a fully insured contract that does not offer the employer much control over the health plan. Self-funding works differently.

In addition to providing protection against excessive costs in years with high claims and the opportunity to keep the profits from favorable years, the availability of data, including claims utilization, is a significant advantage for the employer. Knowing the health and risk factors of the employee population helps the employer determine the appropriate benefits strategy.

Self-funding is not a new concept; but it is new to the smaller employer — with many insurance companies offering level-funding premium options (a form of self-funding) to groups with as few as 10 insured employees.

With level funding, the employer puts aside enough money to cover anticipated claim expenses and the monthly premium remains level for the entire plan year. If claims are less than the funded amount at the end of the year, a rebate or credit is issued. If claims exceed the funded amount, the employer is protected by stop loss.

How can employers use data as a tool to help?
The ability to anticipate or predict claims costs hasn’t been available in the small group market due to the absence of claims data from the insurance companies — until now.

This is where newly developed risk management and predictive modeling tools come into play, making it possible to take a much ‘deeper dive’ into the composition and risk of the smaller employer, proactively identifying members with markers for chronic illness to predict health risks and determine if self-funding is a viable solution.

The deeper dive begins with employee data that is captured through a custom access portal, scrubbed and reviewed. The portal is an insurance company-accepted, Affordable Care Act and HIPAA compliant online benefits application tool designed to reduce the amount of time, cost and paperwork for employers. Employees are asked to complete an online enrollment interview. The employer receives a confidential de-identified aggregate report with an overall analysis.

This expert analysis guides the business owner through the benefit decision process with the power of knowledge. Gaining insight into the composition and health status of the group means plan design decisions can be strategic rather than an annual game of ‘pinning the tail on the donkey’ to find a tolerable solution.

What kind of results can employers expect?
Often, the same portal technology can reduce or eliminate many administrative burdens by providing the added support of employee enrollment, communication and plan election/waivers. The solution is a faster and more efficient approach to benefits. This means employers can essentially build their own health plan, which can lead to generous cost savings, greater transparency and understanding, and better overall cost control.

Over half of an average employer’s health care budget is spent on members with preventable conditions. It’s time for small employers to take control of their health care plans. Talk to your advisor to learn how these funding arrangements and risk analysis tools can help with your strategic benefits planning needs.

PA Chamber Applauds Wolf Administration For Working to Reduce Regulatory Red Tape

From PA Chamber of Business & Industry

On Friday, Jan. 26, Gov. Tom Wolf held a press conference to announce that his administration was working toward making several positive changes to the state’s existing and cumbersome regulatory and permitting process – reducing permit backlogs, modernizing permitting processes and better utilizing technology to improve regulatory oversight and efficiency. This will include a request in Gov. Wolf’s budget of hiring more people within the Department of Environmental Protection.

Other efforts will include expanding the e-permitting system with several key development permits, to reduce paperwork between DEP and industry; creating a new analytics program to track permit times; releasing new review processes and registration practices to make application processes easier; and supporting legislation to bring permitting in line with the industry it is engaged with – for example, extending permit terms and allowing multi-well pad permitting.

Following the press conference, PA Chamber President Gene Barr issued a statement applauding the governor for taking steps toward reducing long-term regulatory burdens for the private sector. “Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction to making it easier for job creators to operate in the Commonwealth,” Barr said. “We look forward to working with the legislature and the Wolf administration on additional steps to improve the state’s regulatory and overall business climate.”

Columbia Alliance For Economic Growth Presents Board Candidates & By-Law Changes

The Columbia Alliance for Economic Growth is scheduled to hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 4:30 p.m. at The Inn at Turkey Hill. In addition to electing members to the Board of Directors, several changes to the by-laws have been proposed. Members of the Chamber are automatically members of the Alliance and invited to participate in the meeting.

Nominated to serve three-year terms on the Board are:

Tim Karr, Villager Realty
Vic Klein
Harry Mathias, Central Columbia School District

A listing of the Alliance’s current Board of Directors is available online.

Prior to voting on Directors, several changes to the organization’s by-laws are being proposed as follows. Deletions are noted as strikethroughs, additions as underlines:

ARTICLE I, Section 2 – The mailing address of this organization for legal notices shall be the office of the organization’s solicitor 17 Woodbine Lane, Suite 103, Danville, PA 17821.

ARTICLE V, Section 1 – Control and management of this organization shall be vested in the Board of Directors consisting of not less than fifteen (15) nine (9) nor more than thirty (30).  Funds of the organization shall be withdrawn from the depository bank by check upon the signature of the President, Treasurer, or other persons designated by action of the Board.  The depository bank of the organization for ensuing year shall be chosen by the Board of Directors at the annual board reorganization meeting.

ARTICLE VI, Section 3 – Election of members to the Board of Directors shall be held at the Annual Meeting.  At each election, not less than five (5) three (3) nor more than ten (10) Directors shall be elected for terms of three (3) years each or until succeeded, to replace or renew the Directorships whose terms expire.

If you are interested in attending the meeting, contact Jennifer Wakeman at the DRIVE office at 570-284-4296 or by email

Member News – January 31, 2018

Member News

  • The Bloomsburg Municipal Airport, which is operated by the Bloomsburg Municipal Authority, will hold a free six-week Ground School course beginning tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 1, from 6-9 p.m. and running each of the next five Thursdays at the same time at the airport terminal building, 301 Airport Rd., Bloomsburg. This course is intended to teach prospective pilots about aircraft performance, flight mechanics, weight and balance, navigation, radio communication, weather and FAA regulations, as well as prepare students to take the written Private Pilot Ground School Exam, which is a requirement to obtain a private pilot certificate. For more information, see this flyer or email the airport coordinator. 

 

  • The athletics department at Bloomsburg University will host a series of events on National Girls & Women in Sports Day this Saturday, Feb. 3 in Nelson Field House. The events are open to all girls and boys in grades K-8. The day begins with a free basketball clinic at 10 a.m., following by a speed and agility clinic, activities fair and pizza party. All participants are then invited to attend the women’s basketball game vs. Lock Haven (admission is free to participants) and a post-game autograph session. For more information, including how to RSVP, see this flyer

 

  • Jeb Stotter, president and CEO of North Shore Railroad, was recently named to the 2018 Top 100 People list by Pennsylvania Business Central, a business trade publication. This annual list celebrates the top 100 people in business and economic development who have learned how to develop their organizations and communities. Stotter was named the president and CEO of North Shore last year.

 

  • Ken Pollock Volvo in Pittston, part of the Ken Pollock Auto Group that owns Ken Pollock Ford-Lincoln, was recently awarded a 2018 DealerRater Consumer Satisfaction Award, an annual recognition given to auto dealerships that deliver outstanding customer service as rated by online consumer reviews. DealerRater is the world’s leading car dealer review website, and it created this award program to let online car shoppers instantly spot dealers that provide high-quality customer service. Only the top 10 percent of U.S. new-car dealers are given Consumer Satisfaction Awards. 

 

  • GAF, one of the Chamber’s newest members and North America’s largest roofing products manufacturer, will host a job fair on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at its New Columbia facility, located at 2093 Old Route 15. GAF is looking for dedicated, safety-minded individuals with manufacturing experience to join its team. An iPad mini 4 will be given out to one attendee that has completed an online job application prior to arriving at the job fair and who also completes an information card at the event. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about GAF, meet its employees, tour the facility and learn about its hiring process. Refreshments will be available. For more information, see this flyer and visit GAF’s career website.

 

  • The Central Susquehanna Community Foundation will hold its Annual Meeting on Friday, Feb. 23, from 12-1:30 p.m. at the Pine Barn Inn. A lunch will be served and attendees will be able to hear four speakers. CSCF president and CEO Holly Morrison will talk about “Spreading the Message of Philanthropy” while board member John Kurelja will speak about the regional impact of the CSCF’s philanthropic activities. Two speakers from Wilmington Trust will also talk about the CSCF’s funds’ performances. For more information, see this invitation, and to RSVP, email or call Karri Harter at 570-752-3930, ex. 6, by Feb. 16. 

 

  • Wesley United Methodist Church has been hosting the community friendship meal since 2002. Guests in need are able to be served a warm and nutritious meal every Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., free of charge. Volunteer groups are needed to keep this meal going in the future. If you have a group that is interested in volunteering for a few hours on a Saturday morning during the year, please visit the church’s website and click on “community friendship meal.” For questions, please contact Katy Miller at 570-441-2850. Please note that beginning Jan. 6, the community friendship meal will be held at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 123 N. Market St., Bloomsburg, while the Wesley UM Church kitchen goes through a renovation that may last 8-12 weeks.