By Rick Murray
Chief Executive Officer
Arizona Small Business Association
Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), large groups like the Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) could negotiate specific plan designs and rates with carriers based on underwriting requirements. In most cases, it created a preferred buying opportunity for our members. With implementation of the ACA, that opportunity largely was neutralized by requiring certain minimum benefits and no underwriting based on previous medical history.
ASBA’s sole purpose is to help small businesses be successful. Negotiating preferred rates on healthcare was a huge part of why some business owners chose to be members of ASBA. With that taken away, we had to figure out what role we could play in helping small business obtain healthcare coverage.
The ACA has been part of the healthcare landscape for a year now. While confusion still exists around the mandates and tax credits of the ACA, the marketplace, or shopping experience, has begun to take shape. The idea of a one-stop, easy-to-use “Amazon.com” shopping experience never materialized — at least until now.
That’s why I am excited to announce the Arizona Small Business Association has partnered with ConnectedHealth to launch Connect2CoverageAZ, a co-branded version of ConnectedHealth’s award-winning Smart Choices™ Marketplace.
It’s an online health insurance and benefits shopping platform where someone can get health insurance in as little as 12 minutes. Connect2CoverageAZ allows business owners, their employees and their family members to shop for health insurance plans and other ancillary products from national and regional health insurance companies based on their personal preferences and financial goals.
ASBA launched this new service at the beginning of December.
Connect2CoverageAZ helps us participate in delivering relevant benefits to our members and their employees, and I am excited to offer this new technology to the Arizona business community, whether they are members or not, so they can make informed decisions about their families’ health insurance.
Connect2CoverageAZ assists users in navigating the complexities associated with selecting health benefits, while helping them to understand the total financial impact of their benefit options.The new portal also is integrated fully with the federal marketplace and allows ASBA members and their employees to determine if they are eligible for government financial support for their health coverage.
Small business owners need flexible solutions when it comes to benefits coverage for their employees and Connect2ConverageAZ delivers it simply and efficiently. This effort will continue to position ASBA as a forward-thinking organization helping its members and all Arizonans to stay healthy and attract top talent to grow their businesses.