2014 Pillar Awards: Honoring greatness in the name of outstanding community service

Presenter’s Message 

On behalf of everyone at Medical Mutual of Ohio and our Pillar Award co-founding partner, Smart Business, we present these annual awards for community service for the 17th consecutive year.

I personally want to congratulate this year’s recipients for their understanding of “commitment to community.” That is what the Pillar Awards are all about — leading by example and helping to improve the quality of life for Northeast Ohioans.

As we at Medical Mutual celebrate our 80th anniversary, our company has long understood the commitment to improve Cleveland and the communities we serve. We strive to live up to that responsibility in everything we do.

You will notice that one of the Pillar Awards is a special honor given to a company whose employees best exemplify the values of Medical Mutual’s volunteer employee SHARE committee.

SHARE, which stands for serve, help, aid, reach and educate, is the heart and soul of Medical Mutual’s charitable giving effort. Each year, this committee helps coordinate more than two-dozen community events involving nearly half of the company’s 2,300 employees.

“Improving the communities we serve,” is a common theme for all of the Pillar Award recipients over the past 17 years and, once again, Medical Mutual of Ohio is honored to be in such outstanding company.

Rick-Chiricosta-NewRick Chiricosta
Chairman, president and CEO
Medical Mutual of Ohio



Medical Mutual/Smart Business 2014 Pillar Awards

Kent Clapp CEO Leadership Award 
Bill Priemer
Hyland, creator of OnBase

Our Lady of the Wayside Nonprofit Board Executives of the Year Award
Chris Zito
Board member
Our Lady of the Wayside

Charles D. Fowler
Board member
Flying Horse Farms

Nonprofit Director of the Year
Mark Tripodi
Cornerstone of Hope

Nonprofit Director of the Year
Jill Rizika
Executive director
Towards Employment

Medical Mutual SHARE Award
Dan Dunstan
Martin Hilovsky
EnviroScience Inc.

Fairmount Santrol Sustainable Business Practices Award
Alexander Cutler
Chairman and CEO
Eaton Corp.

Community Service Awards
Dominic Mancuso
Vice president and general manager
19 Action News

Gareth Vaughan
The Albert M. Higley Co.

Alexander Cutler
Chairman and CEO
Eaton Corp.

Robert F. Falls
President and CEO
Falls Communications

Christopher M. Kelly
Partner-in-charge, Cleveland Office
Jones Day

Bill Priemer
President and CEO
Hyland Software Inc.

Julie Brandle
Katie Wright
Vice President of Human Resources
Metis Construction Services

Alan Jaffa
Safeguard Properties

John Kahl
ShurTech Brands LLC

Gregory Skoda, CPA
Skoda Minotti

Carmella Calta
SueAnn Naso
Staffing Solutions Enterprises

Rachel Talton
Founder and CEO
Synergy Marketing Strategy & Research Inc.

Youth Philanthropy Award
Willie Swift
University of Mount Union

How PPACA will impact small employers

Chuck Whitford, client advisor, JRG Advisors, the management arm of ChamberChoice

Chuck Whitford, client advisor, JRG Advisors, the management arm of ChamberChoice

Most news surrounding the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) pertains to the employer penalties for noncompliance with the large employers’ shared responsibility provision that begins with the 2014 plan year. However, how does PPACA apply if an employer has fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees?

“This has been a subject of great confusion among business owners,” says Chuck Whitford, client advisor, JRG Advisors, the management arm of ChamberChoice.

Smart Business spoke with Whitford about how smaller business owners need to be counting employees carefully and preparing for PPACA provisions.

How is employer size defined?

A large employer is defined as having 50 or more full-time equivalent employees during a testing period that can be from six to 12 months. Full time is defined by the government as 30 hours per week.

The term equivalent is used to account for those who work less than 30 hours per week. For example, if an employer has 30 full-time employees working 30 hours each week and three part-time employees working 20 hours each week, it has 32 full-time equivalent employees. The part-time hours per month are added, then divided by 130 to determine additional full-time equivalent employees.

There is some relief for seasonal workers.

How does PPACA apply to small employers?

The employer penalties are just one piece. All employers are subject to certain rules if providing a health insurance plan, such as:

  • Waiting periods for eligibility cannot exceed 90 days, beginning in 2014.
  • Continuing to cover dependents of employees until age 26, in most cases.
  • Providing a Summary of Benefits and Coverage to each employee at specific events, such as open enrollment.
  • Supplying 60-day notification for any plan changes, except at renewal.

What are some other considerations?

If a plan is not grandfathered — hasn’t changed since the law went into effect in 2010 — then it must continue to waive all cost sharing for preventive care services, which includes women’s preventive care for plans renewing on or after Aug. 1, 2012.

Employers also must offer employees information on the public insurance exchange whether providing health coverage or not. The law requires this notice be distributed each March; however, it has been delayed in 2013, pending Department of Labor guidance.

In 2014, all non-grandfathered small group plans will have limits on the deductibles charged in-network. The maximum deductible will be $2,000 per individual and $4,000 per family. There also will be out-of-pocket limits that apply to all non-grandfathered plans. These limits are the same as those for high deductible health plans, which this year is $6,250 for an individual and $12,500 for a family.

How will the pricing methodology change?

The biggest change for small employers will be the pricing methodology applied to group insurance plans. Insurance companies will be unable to use gender, industry, group size or medical history, and therefore are limited to family size, geography, tobacco use and age. The companies can charge the oldest ages no more than three times what they charge the youngest ages. Many insurance companies use a ratio of 7:1 or higher, so this should result in higher rates for younger, healthier groups and better rates for older, less healthy groups. In addition, there will be new taxes and fees passed through to the employer in 2014.

Where do small employers have flexibility?

A small employer, with fewer than 50 full-time employees, has more flexibility in determining how many hours an employee must work to be benefits-eligible. For example, a small employer can establish 37.5 hours as the minimum to be eligible for the company health plan, so employees regularly working less than 37.5 hours aren’t eligible. Those employees most likely are eligible for a subsidy to purchase coverage in the public insurance exchange. But, as a small employer not subject to the employer penalties, there are no financial consequences.

Because of the complexities, employers are encouraged to review their employee count and other pending health care reform legislation with a qualified advisor.

Chuck Whitford is a client advisor at JRG Advisors, the management arm of ChamberChoice. Reach him at (412) 456-7257 or [email protected]

Insights Employee Benefits is brought to you by ChamberChoice

Corvette enthusiasts await debut of 2014 model

DETROIT, Mon Jan 14, 2013 — Members of America’s Corvette Club can’t wait to see General Motors Corp.’s 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the first new Corvette in nine years, which the automaker will unveil this week at the annual Detroit auto show.

The seventh generation Corvette, called C7 by fans of the iconic American sportscar, has a front-mounted engine and a shape like a race car. GM showed it to the media on Sunday and will make pictures and video available to the public.

But 100 members of the Corvette Club from southeastern Michigan are counting the hours until January 19, when GM will give them a chance to see and touch the car an hour before the doors of the auto show are opened to the public, said social director Peter Shilland, who owns an exclusive 2009 Corvette Callaway edition.

“We want to hear from the engineers and see how far they’ve come with the C7,” said Shilland, a former GM employee.

The car has been has been redesigned from the ground up and goes on sale next summer.

Dan Akerson, GM chief executive officer, said the Corvette is a “halo car” that will draw buyers to the Chevrolet brand, which accounted for 71 percent of the company’s U.S. sales in 2012.

Akerson said the Corvette is indicative of the risks the company is willing to take with its new products and called the new Corvette “a balanced risk.”

Chevy says 2014 Corvette will debut in January

DETROIT, Thu Oct 18, 2012 – An all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, the seventh generation of the uniquely American sports car in six decades, will make its debut Jan. 13 on the eve of the North American International Auto Show, General Motors’ Chevrolet brand said on Thursday.

Eagerly awaited by auto enthusiasts, the new Corvette – dubbed C7 by the faithful but known to GM and its suppliers by the development code Y1X – is widely expected to have a radically restyled exterior, a more upscale interior, a lighter chassis, and a more efficient engine and transmission.

There will be a 6-month gap between the 2014 Corvette new C7 and the current C6 version, a Chevrolet spokesman said in an email. GM will stop building the 2013 model in early February, and is due to start producing the 2014 model in volume in July.

The first of the new C7 Corvettes is expected to roll off the line in Bowling Green on June 30 – 60 years to the day that the first 1953 model was produced, according to two suppliers familiar with the automaker’s plans but are not authorized to speak on behalf of GM.

The C7’s formal unveiling in mid-January also marks the anniversary of the Corvette’s debut in January 1953 as a GM Motorama “dream car” concept in New York. Since then, GM has built and sold more than 1.5 million Corvettes, although annual sales have slowed in recent years as higher vehicle prices, rising fuel and insurance costs, and growing competition from Europe and Asia have eroded its once fiercely loyal owner base.