Group health insurance open enrollment starts now
By TODD J. TRANUM
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier
In the health insurance realm it is open enrollment season again, with a few minor changes this year. Resulting from the expansion of plan options and solutions available through the Chamber, we have determined that we can provide greater value to our members by focusing on direct client engagements rather than broad group sessions. In addition, the Chamber is now offering a new online enrollment platform for members that features enhanced functionality for both employers and employees enrolled in group coverage. The Chamber’s licensed in-house broker, Kevin Sixbey, is already reaching out for discussions with all current groups that have December 1 renewal dates. Coverage is still offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield, Independent Health, and Univera, with a variety of plans to help meet the needs of different clients and groups. MetLife and AFLAC are our prime carriers for a variety of ancillary and voluntary plans, along with some new options recently added. In all cases, the Chamber features a broad array of products and solutions to meet the needs of local businesses and their workers. All employee group decisions will have to be finalized by October 31 to meet the deadline for renewed coverage by December 1. Most current clients will be hearing from our staff shortly to set up meeting times. If you don’t hear from us, please call or email Kevin Sixbey at 484-1101 or 366-6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a benefit of membership, the Chamber’s health insurance and employee benefits support is driven by our mission to provide our members with cost containment solutions for employers providing these as benefits to their employees.
In addition, the Chamber will continue to assist sole proprietors and employees not eligible for group coverage as we work through the New York State exchange in the individual marketplace. The open enrollment period for those plans runs November 1, 2019 through January 13, 2020, and our staff will be happy to work with anyone who needs that assistance.
Workplace Sexual Harassment Compliance Deadline is Oct. 9
The Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier remain dedicated to assisting our member businesses through a new online platform dedicated to human resources compliance. The Chamber and MAST are partnering with HR360 to bring our members the convenience of an online platform that helps to keep track of and meet regulations implemented by both the state and federal Departments of Labor. This service also keeps businesses up to date on new and changing regulations as they happen. Among the most pressing concerns for local companies is the looming October 9 deadline for compliance with the state’s new Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Law. The law requires that each company have a written policy addressing workplace sexual harassment, distributes that policy to all employees, and provides training to each employee every year. All new hires are required to be trained when they begin employment. The HR360 platform offers compliance videos that meet the state’s requirements for employee interaction, and the Chamber/MAST offer this program at no additional charge as a benefit of their membership in our organizations. To date, more than 270 local companies have signed up to participate in this important program. For more information, please call our office at 366-6200 or 484-1101.
Business After Hours at Big Inlet Brewing Sept. 19
The Chautauqua County and Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chambers of Commerce invite one and all to Business After Hours at Big Inlet Brewing, Inc. This great event will be held from 5-6:30pm, Thursday, September 19. Big Inlet Brewing is at 6169 Elm Flats Road, Mayville. Enjoy your fellow Chamber member friends and colleagues with appetizers, door prizes, and a cash bar. The cost is $13 for pre-registered Chamber members and $16 for non-members or walk-ins. This Business After Hours event is sponsored by KeyBank, M&T Bank, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, The Post-Journal, and Webb’s Year Round Resort. Space is limited so register today by calling the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200 or sign up online at www.chautauquachamber.org.
Fredonia Farm to Table Community Dinner Sept. 28
The Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce is joining with the Fredonia Farmers Market and Fredonia Grange to present a Farm to Table Community Dinner, Saturday, September 28 from 4:30-7:30pm. This event will be held on Church Street at the Village Hall in Fredonia. Sponsored by the Fredonia Beaver Club, in case of inclement weather it will be held at the Beaver Club. This special evening will feature four courses by four local chefs: Johnny Bouquin, David Winchell, Marissa Griffis, and Devon Jones, along with two desserts by Jessamine Daly-Griffen and Valerie Kneitinger. All dishes will be freshly made with local ingredients from area farms and sources, and each course will be paired with beer and wine from EBC West and 21 Brix. Along with a spectacular meal you will be treated to live jazz by the SUNY Fredonia and Fredonia High School ensembles, and each ticket will include a special $5 discount voucher for the 7:30pm screening of The Biggest Little Farm at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. Reservations are required and seating is limited. Purchase tickets through the Chamber website at www.chautauquachamber.org/fredonia.
Chamber Annual Awards Banquet is Oct. 10
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize a number of local leaders and business and community service during our Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, October 10. The Chamber’s annual Economic Development Award is being presented to Lakeside Precision, Inc. in Dunkirk, while the Person of the Year Award will be presented to Bruce Erickson of Lakewood. Each of the six community Chambers of Commerce presents a Community Service Award during the Chamber Banquet. The Dunkirk Community Chamber has selected the late John W. (Bill) Farrell. The Fredonia Community Chamber chose Larry Fiorella for its Community Service Award. Sam Bova has been selected to receive the Community Service Award from the Hanover Community Chamber. The Jamestown Community Chamber selected Lucille Miller. The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber has chosen Bob and Joyce Mathews, and the Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber is presenting its Community Service Award to Jean McCausland.
This annual event is proudly sponsored by Bush Industries, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Corporation, Community Bank, DFT Communications, Lawley Insurance, Media One Radio Group, National Grid, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. Online registration is available now through the Chamber’s events calendar at www.chautauquachamber.org.