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It was nearly a decade ago when Ohio Farm Bureau set out to find a solution for the rising cost of health care for its members. The result became the Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan which now provides access to affordable and convenient health care for more than 630 agricultural businesses throughout the state.
“We’ve come a long way since the start but we still have more work to do to make sure our members are aware of how this plan can positively impact their business,” said Dan Rapp, Ohio Farm Bureau’s senior director of health services.
A recent member success story happened with Stacy Irwin, co-owner of K&S Millwrights and her husband, Gary Irwin, who switched over to the plan in May 2023 after hearing about the savings opportunities and robust coverage from another member.
“Initially, I understood the plan to be for individuals or farm families who did not have off-farm employment or the opportunity to obtain health benefits from an employer,” said Irwin.
But the plan is appealing to all types of agricultural sector small businesses with 1-50 employees. Since switching, the Irwins have received positive feedback from employees on the affordable and convenient coverage. They are already planning to renew the plan again next year.
What to know about the plan
The plan offers access to care through Anthem, one of the nation’s largest networks of high-quality doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals. When you join the Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan, your small business becomes part of a large, self-funded group that shares in the overall claims risk with other small businesses. As part of this group, you’ll enjoy the financial protection backed by Anthem’s stop loss coverage, and a flexible choice of plans designed exclusively for Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan participants. Lower, predictable costs and easier administration make it a great alternative to Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans, letting you focus on running your business — not your health plan.
Savings opportunities can be huge
Rapp encourages members to take action and shop plans this year. According to the broker representatives that help provide access to the Health Benefits Plan throughout the state, finding savings opportunities through the plan is typical.
“Each case is different but there’s a definite potential for savings,” said Shelby Uliano with Andrako Insurance. “We recently wrote a plan for an Ohio business owner who had 10 employees and they were able to save 40% on their monthly premium by switching to the Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan.”
Great option for sole proprietors
Sole proprietors are an important part of Ohio’s agricultural industry and they need greater access to a plan with options like this. That’s why the Ohio Farm Bureau has ensured the plan is available for this group.
Additional plan benefits
Farm Bureau members taking advantage of the plan are often pleasantly surprised by all the plan has to offer, including its virtual care through the Sydney Health app. Plan participants also enjoy the Engagement 200 well-being solutions package which rewards adult members up to $200 per calendar year for taking part in a variety of condition management, preventive care and wellness activities.
Plan participants have access to certified health coaches by phone or through the Sydney Health app who help with health goals like managing stress, sleeping better, quitting tobacco and maintaining a healthy weight.
About Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan
The Health Benefits Plan is a flexible and high-quality health coverage option specifically created for sole proprietors and small businesses in Ohio’s agricultural economic sector.
As today’s farmers and small businesses with employees continue to search for health coverage options, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation has taken action to help employers save on these expenses. The Ohio Farm Bureau Health Benefits Plan can lead to more rate stability and is a smart solution that offers potential savings for Ohio farmers and small businesses with 1-50 employees. You do not have to be a current Farm Bureau member to apply. Learn more at ofbhealthbenefitsplan.org.
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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