Know Your Options: Why Medical Mutual and COSE’s New Health Benefit Option Might Make Sense For Your Business

As a business owner, it’s important to know you have options to help grow your business. That’s why Medical Mutual—a long-time supporter of small businesses across Northeast Ohio—has partnered with the Council of Smaller Enterprises to present a new health benefit option for small business that is centered on the belief that small businesses should be able to provide the same benefits as a large company.

As a business owner, it’s important to know you have options to help grow your business. That’s why Medical Mutual—a long-time supporter of small businesses across Northeast Ohio—has partnered with the Council of Smaller Enterprises to present a new health benefit option for small business that is centered on the belief that small businesses should be able to provide the same benefits as a large company.

The COSE Health and Wellness Trust is a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) designed as a self-funded benefit option for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Business owners with no employees are also eligible to apply. The COSE MEWA was developed to help small businesses and their employees manage the increasing costs of healthcare benefits.

The MEWA At A Glance

Characteristics of the COSE MEWA include:

  • 16 different plan options, including traditional co-pay plans and high-deductible health plans with varying deductibles and co-insurance.
  • By using such factors as medical history, gender, age and location to set rates, the costs of the COSE MEWA could be less expensive for your group than under similar plans offered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • The COSE MEWA is not subject to some of the ACA-mandated benefits and taxes and fees, so these savings are passed along to you.
  • The COSE MEWA maintains stop-loss coverage to provide plan sponsors with additional protection from large financial losses.

And because Medical Mutual is administering the benefits for participating COSE employers, all benefits and options are tied to the same Customer Care team, local assistance and network of doctors and hospitals that members have accessed for years.

Learn More at CoseMEWA.com

Interested in learning more about how the COSE MEWA works and why it may be the right plan for you and your business? Access all the information you need on our education page at www.cosemewa.com where you can view videos, access frequently asked questions, view plans and additional information and help make an informed and easy decision for your business.

For more information, contact the COSE Benefits Team at Medical Mutual at 440-878-5930. Or email the team at cosebenefits@medmutual.com.

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    Next up: Learn About the COSE Workers’ Comp Program
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  • Learn About the COSE Workers’ Comp Program

    The COSE Workers’ Compensation Program has assisted small to mid-sized businesses with claims and rating needs for the past 20 years. Our workers’ compensation program is one of the resources designed to achieve growth and success for our member clients. Over the last two decades, our program has incorporated a suite of services designed to control cost and increase member client capacity. This includes offering claims management, hearing representation and underwriting support while helping businesses navigate the complexities of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system. We pride ourselves in being the member client’s partner, advisor and advocate in the workers’ compensation arena.

    The COSE Workers’ Compensation Program has assisted small to mid-sized businesses with claims and rating needs for the past 20 years. Our workers’ compensation program is one of the resources designed to achieve growth and success for our member clients. Over the last two decades, our program has incorporated a suite of services designed to control cost and increase member client capacity. This includes offering claims management, hearing representation and underwriting support while helping businesses navigate the complexities of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system. We pride ourselves in being the member client’s partner, advisor and advocate in the workers’ compensation arena.

    The savings we achieve for our member businesses are just as important as the services we provide. COSE’s state-sponsored group rating plan leverages a strong member base to achieve the highest discounts available in the state of Ohio.  Group rating allows qualified members to achieve workers’ compensation premium discounts as high as 53%. COSE also offers a group retrospective rating plan. Group retrospective rating allows members not otherwise qualified for our standard group plan to achieve performance based rebates on workers’ compensation premiums. Together, these programs save millions of dollars in premium for our member clients every year. 

    This year, COSE partnered with Cleveland-based Minute Men Human Resources to provide the claims management activities that support the program. Our program’s dedicated staff at Minute Men HR has over 100 years of combined experience in the workers’ compensation industry. Together we have built a comprehensive program that incorporates valuable services and exceptional savings for Ohio businesses.

    Learn more about COSE’s worker’s compensation program or contact us at 216-452-0100 or email us at cose@minutemenhr.com 

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    Next up: Lesson Learned: Don’t Do It All Yourself
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  • Lesson Learned: Don’t Do It All Yourself

    The COSE Strategic Planning Course offers small business owners invaluable advice on a range of subjects to help them grow their business. We asked some recent graduates of the program what their takeaways from the course were and during the next several weeks, we’ll be relating to you their insights. Today’s “lesson learned” comes from Maia Ballard of RWJ Wiring, Inc. She talked about the importance of not trying to be a one-person show at your company.

    Q: If someone were on the fence about enrolling in the COSE Strategic Planning Course, what would you say to encourage them to enroll in the program? 

    Maia Ballard of RWJ Wiring, Inc.

    I would tell them it’s the best money you will ever spend in your life. And the reason why is because a lot of times we, as business owners, have been in business a while but when it comes to the COSE Strategic Planning Course, you realize you know nothing. You don’t know as much as you think you know. I came to this class and was completely overwhelmed, stressed out and pulling my hair out and thinking I can’t make it. After 10 weeks, however, I had a new lease on life. They helped me to revise the way I look at my business.

    For instance, one class focused on the topic that you shouldn’t be doing everything like the books, the accounting, the payroll. But that’s what I was doing. And that was too overwhelming. So, the first thing I did was I knew I had to get a bookkeeper. I had to get someone qualified to take over that responsibility because it was one less hat I had to wear.

    The second thing I learned is that if you don’t have the right people in the right positions in your company to help you grow, then your business is not going to grow efficiently or effectively. I sought to find someone with experience and a master’s degree. You can’t train someone to be that kind of person overnight—especially as a small business person, you don’t have the resources to train them. But if someone comes in the door with that experience, that training and that knowledge, it’s so much easier for them to hit the ground running. That’s something I learned when I came here. I’m still in my 30s, but I’ve been in my business almost 10 years and I had no knowledge this is the way I needed to run my business. I wanted to be the business owner and work in business development, but how can I do that if I’m in the office 80 hours a week? By the time I’m finished doing all that, I’m exhausted.

    Also, the mentors and the speakers they brought in are just unbelievable. If you attended all of those talks separately, you would easily spend more than what the course itself costs. In addition, once you go through the course, you become part of a family for life. It’s just like a sorority or a fraternity. Once you join, you’re there forever. You can always come back and sit in on a class to get more education. It’s amazing.

    Anyone who is on the fence about signing up, I would tell them that you need to invest in yourself. If you want to be successful, you have to invest in yourself and your business and it will be worth it because you will achieve what you want to achieve.

    Learn more about how the COSE Strategic Planning Course can help your business grow.

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    Next up: Tips for Your Business: Make Your Culture the Key to Employee Engagement
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  • Tips for Your Business: Make Your Culture the Key to Employee Engagement

    For years, companies around the world have focused on measuring overall employee satisfaction. How happy are our employees? Do they enjoy coming to work each day? Because, it’s been said, happy employees make for a great workplace. Logical, right?  But satisfaction is only part of the story. 

    For years, companies around the world have focused on measuring overall employee satisfaction. How happy are our employees? Do they enjoy coming to work each day? Because, it’s been said, happy employees make for a great workplace. Logical, right?  

    But satisfaction is only part of the story. What many have come to realize over the past several years is that employee engagement – a recipe of satisfaction combined with how committed and involved your employees are to and with your organization – is a much more meaningful measure for employers. Strong employee engagement ties more closely to two outcomes that are critical to the success of any organization: productivity and employee retention. 

    So how do you drive strong employee engagement within your organization? Simply put, it’s all about your company culture. Culture can make or break a company; it is a long-term strategy.  

    Today’s workers, increasingly those of the Millennial generation (ages 25-34), thrive in an environment where they can add value, feel respected, influence work outcomes, be held accountable and have an opportunity to grow their careers. They look for a company that commits to their overall wellness, recognizes a job well done, has a commitment to the community and knows how to have fun. An employee can, perhaps, be satisfied in an environment lacking in these areas, but they likely won’t be engaged.  

    So, what are some ways to develop your culture and nurture employee engagement?

    Communicate – Take the time to define and explain the company’s vision and the role employees play in achieving this vision. Communicate with candor and encourage your employees to do the same. Let your employees know what it takes to get to the next level.

    Celebrate and Have Fun – Work and fun don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Celebrate business accomplishments. Celebrate the CAVS. Celebrate your customers. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Celebrate Throw Back Thursday events.  But celebrate!

    Challenge and Recognize High Performers – Give your strong performers an opportunity to contribute in another area, while at the same time growing their careers. Recognize and reward them for a job well done.

    Collaborate – Employees have ideas on important aspects of your business, like customer satisfaction, efficiencies, innovation and possible pitfalls. They will be more engaged if they are heard and involved in driving the business forward. 

    Gen X and Millennial workers comprise more than two-thirds of today’s workforce. Millennials by themselves will comprise 40 percent of the workforce by 2020. This generation values a collaborative work culture, fun and flexibility, and a company with a social conscience. Developing an engaged workforce will not only drive productivity and employee retention but will also better position your company for the workforce of tomorrow.

    This Tip was contributed by Geo Money, Manager of Branding & Culture at OEC, an award winning technology leader and innovator of original equipment replacement parts solutions headquartered in Richfield.


    This article originally appeared in the July 13, 2015, edition of Small Business Matters.

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    Next up: Maximizing Your Return on Intern
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  • Maximizing Your Return on Intern

    Patrick Britton from NOCHE spent time with NEOSA recently to share their expertise in planiing, launching and optimizing a tech company's internship program.

    Patrick Britton from NOCHE spent time with NEOSA recently to share their expertise in planiing, launching and optimizing a tech company's internship program.

    Listen here.

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    Next up: Maximizing Your Return on Intern Part 2
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  • Maximizing Your Return on Intern Part 2

    Patrick Britton from NOCHE spent time with NEOSA recently to share their expertise in planiing, launching and optimizing a tech company's internship program.

    Patrick Britton from NOCHE spent time with NEOSA recently to share their expertise in planiing, launching and optimizing a tech company's internship program.

    Listen here.


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