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Emanuel Medical Center, Chamber talk insurance options for small businesses
chamber breakfast pic
Confused yet? joked Shawn Balsdon, Northern California director of sales for California Covered, during his presentation Tuesday morning at a breakfast co-hosted between Emanuel Medical Center and the Chamber of Commerce. Balsdon served as the keynote speaker and highlighted the importance of local businesses not only researching their insurance options, but working with local agents to ensure that the business and its employees find the optimal coverage.

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the entire insurance industry is working to become compliant with new rules and guidelines.


“It’s been the biggest change in the industry in the past 20 years,” said Shawn Balsdon, director of sales for Covered California’s Northern California Small Business Health Options Program. “It’s a whole new world for everybody.”


Finding the best insurance coverage is often confusing for employees and business owners alike, so in an effort to assuage concerns the Turlock Chamber of Commerce and Emanuel Medical Center partnered to host a breakfast for small business owners regarding impending changes in line with the Affordable Care Act.


“The Chamber was a good way to reach the smaller businesses in town,” said Emanuel Medical Center CEO Sue Micheletti.


“Health is a major mission of the Chamber this year,” added Turlock Chamber President and CEO Sharon Silva. “A healthy workforce is a successful workforce.”


As the keynote speaker Tuesday morning Balsdon spoke with local business owners on not only the varied insurance options, but the importance of working with insurance agents to navigate the complicated terrain of the insurance industry and refining their coverage during this period of change.


“There are so many different options to look at and that gets confusing which is why it’s important to talk to a local insurance agent and take advantage of their area of expertise,” said Balsdon.


However, locals also have a resource at Emanuel Medical Center.


As part of the hospital’s aim to not only raise awareness and understanding of the ACA but to educate community members on the insurance options available to them, Emanuel has spearheaded a Path to Health Education Campaign. With trained enrollment counselors on site, hospital staff can help ease the process for those looking to become insured especially before the open enrollment period ends on Feb. 15.


Emanuel Medical Center will be hosting several workshops for individuals to sign up for coverage from 5:30 p.m. to 7: 30 p.m. at the hospital’s East Wing on Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29 and Feb. 5 and 12. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 669-4667.


There will also be a Path to Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 31 at Emanuel’s East Wing. Several services including diabetes screening, cholesterol screening, blood pressure checks and hands-on CPR training will take place. Registration is preferred and individuals can save their spot by calling 669-4667. The first 100 to register will receive a free first aid kit.