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Vital Insights Blog

Understanding the MEWA Renewal Process for Small Business

Posted July 21, 2023 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

Much like your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies, health insurance plans also come up for annual renewal. Before signing on the dotted line, it’s important to review the coverage details to see what’s changed from the previous year.


Before you roll out your renewal options to your employees, take some time to review all your choices. Here are some things to consider:

  • SummaCare offers multiple plan strategies that don’t necessarily cost...

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SummaCare Offers Healthcare Coverage and Access Throughout NE Ohio

Posted April 14, 2023 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

When looking at healthcare plans for your small business, you need to look at more than just the bottom line. While costs are one of the biggest factors when choosing a healthcare insurance plan, allowing employees a choice of facilities and providers should also be a top priority because using in-network providers and facilities minimizes their out-of-pocket costs. Since your employees likely live in different communities, selecting a plan that offers access to care anywhere...

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SummaCare's Commitment to the Community Can Benefit Your Business

Posted March 15, 2023 by Matt Baker, Director of Commercial Sales

As your regional insurance partner, SummaCare is proud to provide the personal attention and coordinated care our members deserve. Since our founding in 1993, we’ve grown regionally to meet the needs of individuals and employers of all sizes and resources. Our commitment to the community is showcased through our longstanding promise to be a collaborative partner that companies and members can turn to. That means we support local businesses, create partnerships, and...

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Why You Should Choose SummaCare for Your Company's Healthcare Needs

Posted February 16, 2023 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

It’s no secret that healthcare needs aren’t one size fits all, so healthcare plans shouldn’t be either. What’s vital to one person may not be a priority for another. That’s why there are so many health insurance products available for employers to choose from. SummaCare has been in business in the Akron and surrounding communities for 30 years. We know that health insurance coverage can be a deciding factor for prospective employees which is why...

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How MEWAs Can Help Small Businesses Save on Medical Plans

Posted January 13, 2023 by Matt Baker, Director of Commercial Sales

Multiple Employee Welfare Arrangements or MEWAs provide small business owners with 50 employees or less an affordable way to offer group health insurance to their employees via a self-funded benefits plan. By grouping similar sized small businesses together and pooling their contributions (giving them better purchasing power), MEWAs help small companies compete for quality job candidates looking for robust medical benefits as part of their total compensation package.

A survey...

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5 Tips for Building a Competitive Employee Benefits Package

Posted November 18, 2022 by Matt Baker, Director of Commercial Sales

Small businesses need every advantage they can get when competing with larger companies for top talent. One of the best ways they can do this is by offering a competitive, comprehensive benefits package to their employees. Studies show healthcare benefits play a large role in people’s employment choices and can lead to reduced turnover and increased job satisfaction.


When building your benefits package with SummaCare, you are working with a company that takes a...

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10 Tips to Support Your Employees Mental Health

Posted October 06, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

When one of your employees comes to work with a broken leg, you make concessions – like moving their workspace to an accessible area. Just as important, and often overlooked, is an employee’s mental health needs. At first glance, it may be impossible to know when someone is struggling, but studies show one in five adults is experiencing some form of a mental health disorder (anxiety, depression, stress, addiction issues). To put that into perspective, that’s...

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SummaCare Launches Lift Up Local Mentorship Program for Ohio Businesses

Posted September 15, 2022 by Michelle Bisson | Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Since our founding in 1990, one of SummaCare’s core commitments has been to partner with the community. While celebrating the 25th anniversary of our Medicare Advantage Plans in 2021, SummaCare looked for a way to both honor that commitment and to also inspire and support a local small business via a mentorship project called Lift Up Local.

What began as a project to improve and refocus small businesses’ marketing efforts and training, has evolved into an annual...

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Why Your Employees Should Utilize Telehealth Services

Posted September 01, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth services (healthcare delivery and education via video and audio technology) gained visibility as a safe and effective way to receive quality medical care. As a result of its rise in popularity, employers saw gains in workforce productivity due to employees not having to travel to a provider’s office, sit in a waiting room, wait for the provider to see them and travel back to work.

In the past, your employees may have been...

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Educating Your Employees About How Generic Medications Can Save Them Money

Posted August 01, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

When you go to the grocery store you probably notice the generic brand peanut butter is cheaper than the “name brand.” While they contain the same ingredients, the name brand company has spent a lot of dollars marketing its product to give its brand visibility and an edge over its competitors. For many people, the 50 cents to $1 savings may not be enough to entice them to give up their favorite peanut butter, but for things like prescription drugs, the difference...

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Is It An Emergency? Helping Your Employees Understand the Cost Difference Between Emergency and Urgent Care

Posted June 29, 2022

When it comes to the appropriate utilization of high-cost services like the emergency room (ER), one of the best ways employers can help reign in their healthcare expenses is through employee education.

By design, ERs are expensive to manage and run because of the high-tech equipment, maintenance and supplies required to treat medical emergencies as well as the personnel needed to keep them open and operating 24/7. When your employees unnecessarily over utilize the ER for...

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Wellness Tools to Help Your Company Build a Healthier Workforce

Posted May 31, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

Stress is our body’s response to pressure, and everyone copes with stress in their own unique way. When it isn’t managed in a healthy way, stress can impact every area of an individual’s personal and professional life. Feelings of excessive worry or fear can have a negative impact on mood, nutrition, sleeping habits and well-being. When this happens, it may be time to seek professional help. With SummaCare, your employees have access to a variety of health...

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Why Advance Care Planning is Beneficial to Your Business

Posted April 14, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

A sudden heart attack, stroke or car accident aren’t things you can plan for because it’s impossible to know if or when they will happen. But they do happen and can leave people incapacitated and unable to participate in important decisions related to their medical care. That’s why National Healthcare Decisions Day, a nationwide initiative held each year on April 16, encourages people to take the time to put their wishes in writing in the event of a medical emergency.

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Learn how employee wellness programs can improve the overall health and wellbeing of your workforce

Posted March 30, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

Wellness programs, which were once considered a perk rather than a customary part of an employee’s benefit package, have surged in popularity because research shows they work. At their core, these programs offer employees education, tools and support to help them adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors to increase their quality of life, manage chronic conditions and reduce stress. In addition to physical illnesses, everyday life stressors can negatively impact a person’s mental and emotional health which may cause them to be distracted and less productive at work.

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What's the difference between exclusive and wide provider networks and is one better than the other?

Posted February 01, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

Choosing group healthcare for your business is a big task. Not only do you want to offer employees affordable options, but you also want them to have convenient access to local providers. So, in addition to considering the monthly premiums, deductibles and co-pays associated with a plan, it’s important to look at the facilities, pharmacies, labs and providers that are part of a network.

To give consumers better value, many insurers offer plans that are less expensive...

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Fully insured vs self-funded health plans – which one is right for your company?

Posted January 05, 2022 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

The people you hire to work at your company have diverse healthcare needs. For this reason, health insurance coverage can be a make-or-break issue for prospective employees. People who are healthy may gravitate towards a plan completely different than someone with an underlying health condition. No single healthcare plan will fit everyone’s requirements. When shopping around for group coverage, look for an insurance provider that offers a variety of plans with different...

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Why Small Businesses Should Offer Ancillary Benefits to Their Employees

Posted November 11, 2021 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

The benefits of a healthy workforce are numerous. From increased productivity to reduced absenteeism and turnover, research shows routine, preventive care can lower a person’s medical costs in the long run. Preventive care and regular screenings for diagnoses like cancer, hypertension and heart disease are often covered under a company’s health insurance plan. But what about dental care and vision? They also require routine treatment and maintenance and in most cases are not a covered benefit. That’s why it’s important to offer your employees opportunities to customize their benefits with ancillary options that are important to them.

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The Preferred Choice Network offers multiple benefit options for small businesses

Posted October 05, 2021 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

When looking for a Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement (MEWA) healthcare plan for your small business, it’s important to find a plan that gives your employees choices. By selecting SummaCare’s The Preferred Choice Network that’s exactly what you will be doing.

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Does a MEWA Health Plan Make Sense for Your Small Business?

Posted September 24, 2021 by Steve Chrzanowski, Director, Group Retention & Sales Support

If you are a small business owner with less than 50 employees it can be difficult to find affordable health insurance. Small companies with fewer resources are challenged to meet insurance companies’ group participation requirements in order to negotiate favorable rates and plan options that larger companies can often leverage. That’s why Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) are becoming an attractive option for small businesses. By joining together,...

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