By: Gayle S. Putrich
February 14, 2014
ANAHEIM, CALIF. — The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. is set to launch a private health care exchange for its members on March 1, the trade group announced Feb. 12 at the MD&M West trade show in Anaheim.
The private healthcare exchange and benefit management platform will be called SPI Healthlink and administered by Illinois-based insurance and risk management services firm Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
The project has been in the works for more than a year, said SPI President and CEO William Carteaux. Steve Petrakis, a 35-year plastics industry veteran now with Conair, helped bring SPI and Gallagher together, leading the charge for a members-only benefit program through SPI for years, Carteaux said.
Accelerating costs, the changing legislative landscape and sweeping changes in the industry are finally converging to make the offering possible, he added.
"We've been getting asked for years to start a health care plan for the industry. It's never been possible in the past because of the state laws… If there's one bright spot to Obamacare ... it's the fact that we can finally create this," Carteaux said.
"It's a tremendous opportunity for businesses and people to get what they need and what they want in a cost-effective manner."
Gallagher is creating "a suite of solutions to meet the needs of SPI members, designed to be holistic," said Mark Orzechowski, senior vice president with Gallagher Benefit Services.
In addition to the private health care exchange platform, participating member businesses will have access to Gallagher's consulting services, including advice on how to tackle current and evolving health care and benefit issues, specific to issues facing plastic businesses.
"This is for businesses — small businesses, medium businesses, large businesses. We, working with SPI, have designed a very comprehensive set of solutions."