By: Eddie Stephens | Category: Financial Services | Issue: April 2007
Angela Ritchie will host a luncheon this month to answer your insurance questions.
Many small-business owners and their employees are interested in their options for insurance coverage. Creative Insurance Solutions provides an affordable group insurance alternative. Angela Ritchie is an agent and representative for the Oklahoma Employer-Employee Partnership for Insurance Coverage, O-EPIC, a cooperative program between the insurance industry and state government to insure individuals and small businesses.
An Owasso resident, Ritchie is diligent in her efforts to provide coverage choices for her clients. She says, “I want small-business employers to know there are affordable health benefits they can provide their employees.”
As an accredited O-EPIC agent, Ritchie is equipped to offer quality insurance services to her growing client base. BlueCross and BlueShield, Community Care, PacifiCare and The Principal Financial Group are among the providers available through her agency. “Qualifying small businesses and their employees can benefit from quality providers,” Ritchie says. “We find the best choice for your business from the top carriers available.”
Recent developments make O-EPIC an appealing choice. New income and participating company guidelines assure easier qualification. Also, effective April 1, 2007, new income guidelines will be in effect for the program. For example, a family of four with an annual household income of $37,000 can make just over $38,000 under new income guidelines and still qualify. According to Ritchie, early this summer, a standard work-related credit of $120 per month will be available to each applicant. The amount is deducted from the employee’s gross income, equal to $1,440 annually. “Bottom line, this means a person can earn more and still qualify for the program benefits,” Ritchie says.
New guidelines also positively impact business owners who have 50 full-time employees. O-EPIC now allows qualifying companies to have as many part-time employees as they desire without it counting against their maximum of 50 full-time employees.
Companies continue to take advantage of program benefits. Ritchie says the latest figures reveal that over 1,600 employees and nearly 800 businesses have enrolled in Oklahoma. “The new and improved guidelines are making this an appealing choice for small-business owners who were previously limited,” Ritchie says. “Their employees are discovering new hope for their insurance coverage, as well.”
Ritchie is particularly enthusiastic about this month’s gathering, as she will be joined by representatives from two O-EPIC providers. She says, “BlueCross and BlueShield will be featured, in addition to Community Care, each presenting benefits specific to small businesses.”
BlueCross and BlueShield will offer special rate packages for small businesses that are Owasso Chamber members. Community Care will highlight available savings through their new PCC Select network and give information regarding their new small business PPO plan.
Creative Insurance Solutions will host a luncheon and seminar this month about O-EPIC. The program, designed for small-business owners, will offer solutions to related insurance issues. The seminar luncheon will be held at Owasso’s Panera Bread on Wednesday, April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be free of charge, and participants are asked to RSVP to Ritchie by Friday, April 4.
Creative Insurance Solutions is thrilled with the positive changes O-EPIC provides small-business owners and their employees. The company is prepared to handle today’s excess of insurance information and provide cost-effective alternatives.