Providing a health care solution
By Brock Huffstutler
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Providing a health care solution

New ARA program helps fill the insurance coverage void

In today’s “Great Resignation” landscape, characterized by an exodus of people from the workforce due to the pandemic and other factors, the recruitment tables are somewhat turned. Many job seekers see themselves in a position to interview potential employers instead of the traditional other way around.

More than ever, employers need to place an attractive, highly competitive compensation package on the table to draw talent to their organization. A strong health care component is a must.

To help its members meet that need, the American Rental Association (ARA) has introduced the ARA Healthcare Solution — a customized health coverage option available to both ARA general and associate members. The program, a partnership with Allstate Benefits and HUB International, delivers quality, affordable health coverage that complies with the Affordable Care Act.

ARA members have requested an association-sponsored health coverage plan for years, and the new offering is the culmination of more than a decade’s worth of research and efforts toward developing a plan that is suitable for the greatest number of members.

“We lobbied for the right to create association health plans in Washington, D.C., until the passage of the Affordable Care Act and then tried again a couple of years ago, but none of the proposals made it past the finish line,” says Marcy Wright, ARA chief operating officer.

“Since that time, we have been researching many other options that would provide affordable health care for members. One of the biggest challenges with health care is that it is regulated by individual states, so offering a national, fully funded insurance product is not a feasible option,” Wright says.

Given the state-by-state regulations that govern the health care market, Wright says ARA had to get creative to come up with the best plan option. “We started to look at other types of plans and coverages. We talked with many providers until we found a program that we believe will be a solution for ARA members,” she says.

Through the ARA Healthcare Solution partnership, HUB International works with members to provide quotes and answer questions while Allstate Benefits serves as the carrier for the health insurance plan and provides customer service and claims processing. ARA Insurance agents also can assist members with plans.

Wright describes the ARA Healthcare Solution as “a level-funded plan — sometimes referred to as a self-funded plan — that provides coverage that looks and feels like a preferred provider organization [PPO]-style plan but with some unique features.” Those features include:

  • Customizable plan designs making it easy to choose a plan that fits the needs of your business and employees.
  • Level-funding — offering you one predictable monthly payment.
  • An opportunity to receive money back in years when claims are lower than expected.
  • An experienced team of people who are always ready to provide expertise before, during and after you’ve chosen your plan.

Wright adds that “the policies and coverages vary depending on the state in which your business is located but, in many states, coverage can be for as few as three people.”

ARA members that have utilized the program already are reaping the benefits.

“The coverages are about the same as what we had before we switched over to the ARA plan, but now I’ll save approximately $1,300 a month,” says Dean Miller, CERP, owner, Miller’s Party Rental Center, Akron, Ohio, who also serves as ARA Region Five director.

Ian Goff, CERP, general manager, Goff Tents & Events, Nicholasville, Ky., says that in a market where health care costs are rising to the tune of 20 to 30 percent per year, “to see our costs be cut by almost $300 a month for a family plan [through the ARA program] is a significant savings to our company and our employees; it really enticed a lot of our people to take advantage of it.”

For some, the ARA Healthcare Solution is the key to offering a health plan to employees for the first time ever.

“We had never offered health care; when we first heard that ARA would be offering this plan, we were ecstatic,” says Travis Yarbrough, general manager, Lone Star Rental, Andrews, Texas, who adds that in addition to offering favorable rates, the program provided a user-friendly quoting and setup process.

“The process was very smooth. With the amount of information involved in insurance, we struggled to understand what we were looking at. The help and information we received was amazing. Everything was explained via an online meeting and all my questions were answered promptly and in detail,” Yarbrough says.

Miller also appreciated the efficient quoting process and quick turnaround time. “Extremely smooth and easy,” he says. “It was all done online and was even easy for my employees to submit their info via a link. I received a quote in less than a week — I had it before I thought I would.”

Users of the ARA Healthcare Solution like Miller and Goff expect the accessibility of the program to be a determining factor in keeping equipment and event rental companies attractive to those who are actively seeking employment.

“When we’re looking to hire and retain top talent, benefits are a key piece to that. It’s important that we have a package available that stands toe to toe with any other industry,” Goff says, with Miller adding that “we had several new hires choose our company over others because we offered health insurance.”

Yarbrough, in a position now to add health care as an incentive to attract and retain workers, holds up the ARA Healthcare Solution as an example of how one program can encapsulate investment in ARA membership. “This is an amazing resource. This alone makes being an ARA member worth every penny,” he says.

To learn more about the ARA Healthcare Solution and to request a quote, visit ARAhealth.org or call 833-966-4137.

Brock Huffstutler

Brock HuffstutlerBrock Huffstutler

Brock Huffstutler is the regional news editor for Rental Management. He writes and edits articles for ARA’s In Your Region quarterly regional newsletters, Rental Management, Rental Pulse and other special projects. Outside of work, he enjoys biking and spending time at the few remaining vintage record stores in the region.

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