This past January, Aglink launched its own association benefits program with the Leonard Adams Insurance agency of Portland. Farm and livestock companies were given access to over 20 medical and dental plans with a statewide and national network of doctors, dentists, clinics and hospitals.
“Our members signing up for the program have seen a significant reduction in the cost of their medical and dental insurance,” says Mallory Phelan, executive director of Aglink. “Our own staff costs went down by quite a bit!”
As of last month, per approval from the State of Oregon, the eligibility to participate in the program has expanded beyond farm and livestock companies to now include food processors and beverage operations.
This change allows companies producing jams, jellies, sauces, frozen vegetables, chips, ice cream, chocolates, pastries, pet food, cider, wine, liquor, meats and snacks–to name a few–to get access to the same program as their farmer and rancher producers.
The Aglink program offers employers a wide array of copay-style and healthcare savings account plans for their employees. Many participating companies give employees a choice of up to 3 plans to allow each employee to select the type of plan which best fits their personal or family needs.
According to Richard Skayhan of Leonard Adams, most employers use a mix of an affordable “base” plan with fixed copay amounts ($20 for a visit to a primary care physician or urgent care) for doctor visits and prescription options, then adding “buy up” plans for employees, managers and company owners to select a plan with a lower deductible or out-of-pocket-maximum.
Further, says Skayhan, employers may join the plan at any time so if they’d like to have a September to September coverage year, they can do so. Or, if they feel more comfortable with a January to January schedule, that works too. He says many companies believe they’re locked into a year of coverage with their current insurance company when in actuality, they can change at any time.
“The Aglink program has been set up to give employers the greatest flexibility and affordability possible so if they want to start now—because of the savings—and then change to a January renewal date for management purposes, it’s their option!”
The Aglink dental program has the largest number of in-network dentists available which helps employees pay less out of pocket for major services. Going to a dentist who has a contracted agreement with an insurance company allows an employee benefit dollar to go a lot further than experiencing billing under what’s called usual, customary and reasonable charges (UCR).
Current or prospective members of Aglink can contact Richard Skayhan at Leonard Adams (502-296-0077 or [email protected]) to find out more about the health and dental plans or get a free quote to see if the Aglink program is better for them.