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A private healthcare exchange, SPI HealthLink, has been introduced by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association for the exclusive use of its members. The initiative is designed to address a persistent request from the association's membership to do something about constantly rising healthcare costs. "We have been hearing it for at least a decade," SPI's Fred Daniell told PlasticsToday, "but there was nothing we could do from our vantage point.

Norbert Sparrow

April 29, 2014

2 Min Read
SPI launches healthcare exchange for member companies

A private healthcare exchange, SPI HealthLink, has been introduced by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association for the exclusive use of its members. The initiative is designed to address a persistent request from the association's membership to do something about constantly rising healthcare costs. "We have been hearing it for at least a decade," SPI's Fred Daniell told PlasticsToday, "but there was nothing we could do from our vantage point. That has changed with Obamacare." Daniell is President of Kureha America, a supplier of advanced materials, specialty chemicals and specialty plastics, and is chairman of the 2014 SPI board of directors.

"Personally, there is a lot I don't like about Obamacare," says Daniell, "but there are some things I do like, and exchanges are one of them. SPI HealthLink presents an opportunity for companies and the industry to come together to make healthcare affordable," he says. It will allow employers to take a step back from being health insurance administrators and focus on what they do best—advancing the plastics industry, adds Mark Orzechowski from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., which administers SPI HealthLink.

Healthcare coverage under SPI HealthLink is a defined contribution plan—think 401(k)—rather than a defined benefit. This is advantageous to companies, as it provides full transparency into healthcare costs, enables employers to set long-term benefits based on predictable forecasts, and ultimately reduces their exposure to healthcare costs. Daniell argues that it also benefits employees.

Today, says Daniell, companies often go from compromise to compromise when shopping for a plan that will benefit the greatest number of employees. "But people have different needs, and for a company like Kureha America, which operates in several states, there are state-to-state variances to deal with. At the end of the day, employees are left with a one-size fits-all policy. This exchange gives employees, even those working at small companies, access to a full menu of insurance options," says Daniell.

More information about SPI HealthLink, as well as an explanatory video, is available at www.plasticsindustry.org/HealthLink.

Norbert Sparrow

Norbert Sparrow is Senior Editor at PlasticsToday. Follow him on twitter @norbertcsparrow and Google+.

Image courtesy David Castillo Domenici/freedigitalphotos.net.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

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