In an unprecedented move to provide quality health care coverage to member companies of all sizes in the state, the Arizona Technology Council has announced the launch of its own Association Health Plan (AHP) in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. Created by an Arizona organization for Arizona employers, the Council’s AHP effective date is January 1, 2020, and quotes will be accepted beginning October 15, 2019.
“The rising cost of health insurance is one of the most critical challenges facing our small business and startup members,” said Steven G. Zylstra, the Council’s president and CEO. “The ability to provide comprehensive group coverage allows us to make it practical for more companies to save on their benefits program and invest the money back into talent, R&D and growth.”
The ability to offer AHPs to its members comes after the Council’s support of SB1085, which passed the Arizona Legislature on May 8, 2019. The Council’s Public Policy Committee rallied the business and technology community to support the bill introduced by Sen. Kate Brophy McGee. The new legislation will enable tens of thousands of Arizonans to obtain quality and affordable health coverage by providing a new pathway for employer groups and associations to offer fully insured and self-insured AHPs.
“Association plans like the one Arizona Technology Council is offering will help our citizens who work for smaller companies gain access to the quality care they deserve,” said Sen. Brophy McGee. “These plans offer health care coverage on par with coverage previously only available to those working for larger employers, but at prices smaller employers can afford.”
The AHP is the Council’s own health program, not an endorsement of a vendor solution. The plan offers a comprehensive product bundle that includes medical, dental, vision and life insurance; employee assistance; and health savings account (HSA)/flexible spending account (FSA) administration. It provides members with relief from COBRA administration, bill paying, compliance filings, and managing participant eligibility and benefits enrollment.
The Council’s AHP targets member employers with fewer than 100 employees. The lower costs of health insurance will lead participating small businesses and startups to provide more generous overall compensation packages to their employees, a critical factor in helping technology companies attract and retain top talent.
“AHPs will provide the Arizona technology community with increased flexibility in developing health insurance plans for its members,” said Michael Groeger, vice president, commercial groups and specialty sales, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. “The lower costs will help employers provide more substantial coverage to its employees—a key factor in recruiting top talent to further innovation.”
For more information on the Council’s new AHP, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org/AHP.
About the Arizona Technology Council
The Arizona Technology Council is Arizona’s premier trade association for science and technology companies. Recognized as having a diverse professional business community, Council members work towards furthering the advancement of technology in Arizona through leadership, education, legislation and social action. The Council offers numerous events, educational forums and business conferences that bring together leaders, visionaries and community members to make an impact on the technology industry. These interactions contribute to the Council’s culture of growing member businesses and transforming technology in Arizona. To become a member or to learn more about the Arizona Technology Council, please visit www.aztechcouncil.org.
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