"Ask the Expert" over Lunch drew members and non-members together to learn about the most recent changes in regard to health insurance. Three experts on the panel shared their various areas of expertise, giving the audience a chance to gain additional insight and ask questions.

"Ask the Expert" over Lunch drew members and non-members together to learn about the most recent changes in regard to health insurance. Three experts on the panel shared their various areas of expertise, giving the audience a chance to gain additional insight and ask questions.

Chamber member Barbara Letcher started the panel discussion.

Letcher is a partner with Newhouse, Prophater, Letcher & Moots, LLC, providing assistance to clients with respect to human resources issues and compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws.

Letcher is an OSBA Board Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law and has been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer for Labor and Employment Law by Law & Politics magazine.

Letcher begin with a discussion of considerations in the short-term which will include grandfathered status, dependent status and what will be required in 2011.

Doug Rhoades with Gardiner Allen DeRoberts Insurance took the audience on a short tour from the bill's inception and then discussed how we will be paying for the changes imposed by healthcare reform and the administrative burdens on businesses.

Rhoades is an Employee Benefit Specialist with Gardiner Allen DeRoberts Insurance, a full service insurance agency located in Grandview Heights.

Prior to merging his agency of 20 years with Gardiner Allen DeRoberts 3-1/2 years ago, Doug was the President of Rhoades & Associates Agency an employee benefit consulting and brokerage firm in Columbus.

Marty Vaughan, president of Shawan-Marquis Agency Inc., has worked at the agency for 28 years. His specialty has been small group health insurance sales.

In 1991 Vaughan established the Central Ohio Chamber of Commerce (COCC) insurance program with an original group of eight chambers of commerce in the Columbus area.

The plan is offered through Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and is jointly promoted and sold by Vaughan and through local chamber member insurance agencies.

The COCC plan is now a consortium of over 50 chambers of commerce in Ohio with more than 1400 small businesses enrolled. Chamber member benefits can include an additional 4 to 5 percent discount for healthcare costs.

Marty concluded the presentation by sharing some of the major changes due to go into effect in 2014 and how the election may impact what happens going forward.

Health Care Reform....

"Upper Arlington chamber members should stay tuned in regarding the Health Care Debate in Congress. 2011 through 2014 will be a time of considerable uncertainty regarding the Direction of Health Care in America. The Health Care Bill - H.R. 3590, which passed with large Democratic majorities in 2010 may be in danger of being re written due to political power shift back towards Republicans. It was primarily passed in 2010 to increase access to coverage but now the majority of the public does not believe we can afford it which may lead to a repeal or major rewrite of the bill," Vaughan said.

We feel it is extremely important to continue offering chamber members many options to network and learn.

The chamber will attempt keep membership up to date on the latest changes on the healthcare reform by posting regular updates and news on the chamber website.

The chamber would like to thank all three presenters for sharing their time and expertise.