Health care options seen by Ellsworth benefits administratorThe new regional health care cooperative was a topic for Linda Hines as speaker at Thursday’s Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce meeting, along with health care reform.
Health care options seen by benefits administrator
By Bill Kirk
Until recently, Linda Hines of EBAS (Employee Benefits Administration Services) in East Ellsworth was a board member for Health Choices of Western Wisconsin.
The new health care cooperative was a topic for Hines as speaker at Thursday’s Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce meeting, along with health care reform. Although her busy schedule wouldn’t allow her to continue on the co-op’s board, she has high hopes for the new venture.
Approximately four years ago, State Sen. Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls got state legislation passed allowing for such a cooperative to be formed, Hines said. The co-op relies on a pool for coverage, meaning the larger the number of people involved, the more risk when paying out.
Hines said a similar effort was formed in Brown County (the Green Bay area) and Madison area people have also been involved there. Harsdorf sought to have a co-op for Western Wisconsin, leading to the creation of Health Choices, covering a 17-county region.
At last count, 295 employer groups have shown interest here, accounting for approximately 2,400 eligible lives, Hines said. The start date is this Sunday.
Read more in the print version of the Herald Oct. 28.