Company plan cuts insurance premiums

March 10, 2014

Originally from Morganton News Herald 3/10/2014, Page A01

Kellex Seating

Company plan cuts insurance premiums



BY JESSICA ISAACS


jisaacs@morganton.com

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, health care coverage has been changing for employees across the country. One local furniture manufacturer — Kellex Seating — has designed a plan to make coverage effective and affordable for its employees.

The owners of Kellex Seating, located in Valdese, have designed and funded a plan to help employees see a 38 to 56 percent decrease in premiums, maintain the same deductibles from their previous plans and afford additional dental and vision coverage. The new plan covers more young families, too, and more than 21 percent more employees

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have joined since it has been implemented.

“Our employees can now afford coverage they couldn’t include before,” Kellex President Chris Rice said. “The entire staff can take advantage of a better safety net for illness and disabilities. This yields more empowered employees.”

The owners said that when other companies are asking more fromtheir employees, Kellex is lowering the costs for coverage under a user-friendly, more affordable plan.

“Where many companies are raising the employees premium and blaming ACA, we are going against that trend,” said Rice. “With many young families in our workforce, because of their productivity and the rates we were able to get, Kellex could supplement all tiers of coverage, making it truly affordable for everyone.”

Kellex owners said they removed many of the individual ancillary plans in place, which could be costly, and replaced them with group coverage for employees. Many companies of the same size and industry segment do not offer ancillary benefits, like short-term or long-term disability, on a group platform, according to Kellex owners. The streamlined group plan enables cost-saving benefits that allow Kellex employees to protect themselves, their families and their income.

Kellex CFO Quez Little said premiums paid by all employees would have increased by 23.4 percent if the company had not intervened by changing up the plans.

“The intervention allowed for more coverage and a lesser price for the employees and a more controllable, informed plan for Kellex,” said Little.

Rice said making affordable coverage possible is part of the company’s commitment to treating its employees like family.

“To succeed as a healthy company for years to come, our people need to be healthy,” Rice said. “Our insurance plan enables our associates to seek professional care on preventive health, as well as removing some of the financial burden of potential extensive care.

“When a person is afraid to go to the doctor — for fear of the cost of care and necessary diagnostic testing — it may have catastrophic effects to their health and the welfare of their family. We value our associates and encourage them to live healthier, more productive lives.” 

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