If you’ve ever run or worked with a small business, you know just how important providing healthcare coverage is to ensure employees are happy and, most importantly, healthy.

Unfortunately, for many small businesses the high cost of quality healthcare can make it hard to provide quality coverage for employees without breaking the bank. Luckily, there is a brand-new program from the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, called the WiseChoice Healthcare Alliance.

Formed from a 30-year partnership between the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, the WiseChoice Healthcare Alliance is designed to help drive healthcare engagement and literacy that will lead to improved long-term health and lower healthcare costs. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has a long-standing record of excellence in the administration of plans such as WiseChoice in states like Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio—and now Virginia.

Over the past year, the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance has worked diligently with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce to establish the WiseChoice Healthcare Alliance. After receiving final approval from the Bureau of Insurance, the program is now ready to go to market with local insurance brokers. The Alliance is an important step forward in the expansion of access to better health coverage for small businesses, which account for over 90 percent of employers in the state.

But how does it work?

Employers gain access to the WiseChoice Healthcare Alliance through membership with a participating local chamber of commerce, like the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, the Virginia Farm Bureau, or any trade association with the program. To be eligible, employers must have between 2–50 employees, have their corporate headquarters located in Anthem’s Virginia service area, and be in good standing with their participating chamber or affiliated association.

So, how can your small business take advantage of WiseChoice?

WiseChoice enrollment is open now! An eligible employer may join the WiseChoice Healthcare Alliance and purchase a plan at any time throughout the year.
First, make sure you are a member of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. Next, reach out to your local certified broker or the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance to get connected with a broker. Then, your broker will help educate and inform you in the enrollment process.

The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance has several local brokers who have signed on to the program and can help you get enrolled, including Campbell Insurance, Innovative Insurance Group, Scott Insurance, and The Mid-State Group.

Why should I enroll my small business in WiseChoice?

Programs like WiseChoice in other states have realized 15–20 percent cost savings for participating small businesses. Additionally, because benefits consortiums are member-managed trusts that oversee each plan’s set-up and operations, they have the authority and ability to design plan attributes that are unique to a particular demographic, a specific geographic area, a given industry, or community. That means they can provide customized coverage and offer unique rates for each employer.

Bottomline, WiseChoice could save your small business a significant chunk of change, help attract and retain employees, and at the same time provide better healthcare coverage for your employees than you might be able to get on your own. If you’d like to learn more, please reach out to the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance or one of our brokers to get started.

By: Megan Lucas CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance