True game-changing events do not come along very often.

Yes, the Indianapolis Colts experienced a negative version recently with the unexpected retirement of a certain key player. (But optimism should still reign with the season opening in just a few days).

A positive – make that very positive – “game-changer” for Indiana employers is the introduction of the ChamberCare Health Alliance and its MEWA (multiple employer welfare arrangement) product. The reason it qualifies for this somewhat exclusive category: an opportunity for small businesses (2-50 employees) to participate in a larger, self-funded plan with insurance rates that have generally only been available to larger companies.

The ChamberCare Health Alliance is the next evolution in a 15-year partnership between the Indiana Chamber and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Thousands of organizations and their workers have benefitted from a series of ChamberCare health insurance offerings.

“This is going to make a significant difference for so many organizations,” states Kevin Brinegar, Indiana Chamber president and CEO. “The most competitive rates possible, flexibility in choice of benefit plans and automatic membership in the Wellness Council of Indiana will help employers better control their health care expenditures both today and in the long term.”

This new product for Indiana businesses and their employees follows similar Anthem offerings in other states.

“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is committed to improving lives and communities, and simplifying health care, which is why we’re proud to join with the Indiana Chamber to offer ChamberCare Health Alliance, an innovative solution to address the rising cost of care,” says Robert W. Hillman, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana.

“Under this plan, which has been rolled out successfully in other Anthem states, small businesses will be able to join a risk pool that has the potential to bring significant savings, as well as more stable premiums and more predictability when it comes to budgeting for health care. By addressing a top concern in the business community and enabling employers to get a better handle on their costs, we believe ChamberCare Health Alliance can make Indiana an even more attractive place to do business.”

Indiana employers have access to the ChamberCare Health Alliance and the MEWA through their Indiana Chamber membership.

“We are confident that many of our clients and businesses across the state will want to take advantage of the outstanding health premium rates and other resources that will be available through the ChamberCare Health Alliance,” says Jim Fountain, benefit director with Carmel-based Shepherd Insurance. “ChamberCare has been an outstanding program for many years. This new product takes the savings and benefits to a whole new level.”

The Wellness Council of Indiana is the only statewide not-for-profit specifically dedicated to worksite wellness and community well-being in Indiana. It guides the development, implementation and evaluation of comprehensive and sustainable workplace wellness efforts. MEWA participants will have the tools and resources to impact the well-being of their employees, providing for a healthier and more productive workplace.

“The Wellness Council has been part of the Indiana Chamber family since 2011,” Brinegar notes. “Combining its expertise with the bottom-line savings and additional health programs offered by Anthem is a perfect combination. We look forward to assisting employers throughout the state and allowing them to reinvest their savings to grow their organizations.”

Additional information for Indiana companies interested in joining the Alliance is available at www.indianachamber.com/chambercare or by contacting Brett Hulse at (317) 264-6858 or [email protected].