(Submitted by Access Health)
Access Health, a Muskegon-based health coverage provider and continuous health improvement program provider, is celebrating 15 years. Since its establishment in 1999, Access Health has provided health coverage to over 730 businesses and 5,650 employees in Muskegon and northern Ottawa County.
At the start of the year, 15,325 area businesses and over 1,250 employees are under an Access Health coverage program. Over the past 14 years, Access Health members have seen only a $6 increase in their monthly cost of coverage, starting with $38 in 1999 to the current cost of $44.
Access Health shares this anniversary with the initiation of the new healthcare reform, popularly known as “Obamacare.” The reform, designed to increase the number of people covered by health insurance, could lead to increased taxes and fees for businesses that offer health coverage. Any additional fees seen on your bill will go to support lower-income individuals and families purchasing health insurance, help pay for the costs of running the Health Insurance Marketplace, and assist with conducting research that compares the effectiveness of available treatments.
Access Health’s C3 Health Coverage Program and Continuous Health Improvement (CHI) Program are services unique to Access Health that help businesses manage their costs for healthcare, fitting perfectly with the new healthcare reform transition.
C3 Health coverage is complete comprehensive health coverage offered to employee groups with median income less than $15 per hour. Among many other money-saving benefits, members receive free health improvement classes and educational courses for specific health needs, $44 monthly health coverage with no deductibles, and very low or zero cost co-pays.
The continuous health improvement process begins with a comprehensive risk analysis of data from medical and pharmaceutical claims, health risk appraisals, and biometrics. Predictive modeling software, developed by Johns Hopkins, is then used to measure the health status of each member and their changes over time.
“The CHI program lets us help local employers manage their health costs,” said Jeff Fortenbacher, Chief Executive Officer, Access Health. “The program includes one-on-one personal health coaching to establish health goals and action plans for each of our members,” said Fortenbacher.
With improved employee health as its starting point, Access Health’s C3-CHI Program ultimately helps Muskegon County businesses become more competitive in their market. Eagle Group, Port City Group, Fleet Engineers, Dynamic Conveyor and Lorin Industries currently offer the program at their companies, or will be in the near future.
“Access Health helps to manage health risk and reduce the cost of our health coverage, which is an area of risk that hasn’t been effectively managed before due to the ‘traditional’ health care benefit system,” said John Workman, vice president of Eagle Group.
Access Health provides courses, programs, resources, and low-cost health coverage to lead the community on a path toward healthier lifestyles. Access Health serves uninsured employees of small businesses and other low-income, uninsured individuals. For more information, visit www.access-health.org.•