Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
Monday, May 20, 2013, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
President Abraham Lincoln Hotel, 701 East Adams St., Springfield
Pension Reform… State Fiscal Mess… Obamacare Implementation… Workers’ Compensation Reform… Minimum Wage Increase…
2013 Legislative Session: How’s This One Going to End?
Employer Action Day
Inevitably, all the key issues in Springfield are settled in the last few days of legislative session. This year is likely to be no different. Join the Illinois Chamber and NFIB in Springfield when the big decisions are being made and help influence the outcome of issues you care about most.
$49.00 includes lunch and transportation to and from the statehouse
Click here to register or by phone to Lisa Weitzel 217/522-5512 x222
Employers are the bedrock of our current health care system. Nearly 55% of Americans, totaling 169 million individuals, receive health insurance through their employer. As the largest purchasers of health care, employers, both large and small, are uniquely situated to help provide leadership in finding solutions, and can exert transformative change.
Workplace wellness programs are a win-win for both the employer and employees. Employees who participate in workplace wellness programs are fitter, more productive, have better morale, and are safer than employees who do not otherwise treat their chronic conditions. Employers who offer wellness initiatives have achieved excellent returns on their investment. Programs that follow best practice guidelines return $2 to $3 dollars for each dollar invested.
With employers renewing their health plans, and open enrollment season fast approaching, now is the optimal time for employers to learn about the benefits of implementing a workplace wellness program.
The U.S. Chamber has released a toolkit to assist small and medium-sized employers plan, implement, and evaluate workplace health promotion programs. The toolkit features a Chamber-branded publication, “Workplace Wellness Programs: Promoting Better Health While Controlling Costs” and video tutorials from leading employers: Buffalo Supply, DonahueFavret Contractors, Goodwill-Columbus, Wegmans, and Anne Marie Ludovici-Connolly, an expert in the health promotion field and author of Winning Health Promotion Strategies.
Feel free to download this brochure, Workplace Wellness Programs: Promoting Better Health While Controlling Costs, for instructional steps on how to set up a workplace wellness program.
“Tax” or “Penalty” – and Why Does It Matter?:
Assessing the Constitutionality of the ACA’s Individual Mandate
On June 28, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in National Federation of Individual Business v. Sebelius. The decision followed a long legal battle and divergent federal appellate decisions, and has been paralleled by massive public debate over the enactment of the ACA. Several key issues played a part in the Supreme Court’s decision. SmithAmundsen’s Health Care Practice Group issued an alert regarding the decision shortly after it was issued. That alert is available here. This series of three alerts will take a closer look at each of the key issues involved in the Supreme Court’s decision.
Our first alert in this series addresses the “tax” vs. “penalty” issue: whether the Supreme Court could even hear the case under the Anti-Injunction Act, and whether the individual mandate is constitutional under the Congress’s taxing power.
This decision will undoubtedly create concern and uncertainty for employers. With this in mind, members from our Labor & Employment Practice Group will offer the following educational events to help employers understand how this decision will impact their businesses.
“Health Care Reform – The Decision and Your Next Steps,” Illinois Chamber of Commerce Seminar, Monday, August 13, 2012, Chicago, IL.
“Health Care Reform Update Seminar,” Illinois Chamber of Commerce Seminar, Monday, August 27, 2012, Springfield, IL.
“Workplace and Ownership Issues, Procedures & Policies, Legal & More – An Interactive Workshop,” Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Conference, Tuesday, September 25, 2012, Tinley Park, IL.
 National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S., 2012.
A share from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce
With health benefit costs projected to surpass an average of $10,000 per employee next year, it’s more important than ever for Illinois employers to address the health of their workforce.
Obese workers alone cost U.S. companies billions of dollars each year – a number that’s sure to continue trending upward unless employers begin to hold themselves and their employees accountable to wellness goals.
It’s hard to remain competitive when your employees miss more days of work, and require more expensive prescriptions and medical procedures, than organizations with healthy workers.
Poor health affects productivity in a myriad of other ways. An employee who is experiencing chronic disease or other ongoing medical problems, for instance, can understandably become distracted and disengaged at work as a result.
To combat this downward spiral, employers need to better utilize one of the best tools they have at their disposal – employee wellness.
Programs like Live Healthy Illinois, the Illinois Chamber-led workplace wellness initiative, are effective because they encourage employees to take ownership of their health.
Wellness programs – which can incorporate everything from lunchtime walking programs to free health screenings and fitness coaching – help to cut health care costs, as well as boost productivity, morale and company loyalty.
In fact, studies show that every dollar spent on workplace wellness generates a return on investment of up to $3.
An Efficient Solution for Employers
For companies looking to make their first foray into workplace wellness, or supplement an existing effort, Live Healthy Illinois offers an easy and affordable way to promote healthy habits among employees.
The program is built around a 100-day exercise and weight loss challenge that uses competition between teams to promote physical activity and improved dietary habits.
Once a company registers its employees, Live Healthy Illinois virtually runs itself. Each week, participants log their weight or the number of minutes they have exercised on www.livehealthyillinois.org. The website takes care of the rest, tracking their progress and offering motivational messages, healthy recipes and more.
A company can have a single team of 2-10 participants, or multiple teams, for the cost of only $20 per participant. Those teams then compete with others from across the state by comparing their progress on the Live Healthy site.
Delivering Real Results
Live Healthy Illinois has proven very effective in helping employers promote wellness in the workplace. At Memorial Health System in Springfield, 758 employees exercised for more than 14,000 hours and lost nearly 3,000 pounds during the 2011 Live Healthy Illinois Challenge.
In McLean County, 185 teams of employees exercises for nearly 50,000 hours and lost more than 4,000 pounds – two tons – overall.
In the last two years, Live Healthy Illinois has helped thousands employees across the state find the motivation to exercise, choose healthy foods and make real, sustainable changes to their lifestyles and company cultures.
The upcoming Live Healthy Illinois 100-day Challenge kicks off one month from today on January 23, 2012 and I encourage all our state’s employers to participate and make a down payment toward the future health of their workers and their businesses.
Don’t forget to register for a free informational webinar hosted by Live Healthy Illinois this Friday, January 6 at 10 am. To register for the webinar, please click HERE. If your company, local chamber or organization is interested in learning more about Live Healthy Illinois and accessing any of our Live Healthy Illinois toolkits, please contact Laura Minzer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 522-5512, ext. 240.
For more information on Live Healthy Illinois, you can also visit www.livehealthyillinois.org.
Aurora Regional Chamber Offers 2010 Economic Forecast
Expert to Address Lunch on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 11:00 a.m.
Andrew B. Busch, Director of BMO Capital Markets and a Global Currency and Public Policy Strategist in Chicago will provide insight into the 2010 economy. Busch has been heard on WBBM radio and numerous cable and local financial programs.
Busch is a senior fellow on economic issues for the Illinois Policy Institute and consults with the staffs from the US Treasury, Congress, and the White House on economic and financial market issues. He was an adviser on the economy and the financial markets to US Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
He met recently with all the most senior staff at the US Treasury and has advised the last three US Treasury secretaries, including Tim Geithner.
Busch joined BMO Financial Group in 1990 in the foreign exchange trading room of Harris Trust and Savings Bank, which merged with Bank of Montreal’s room in 1995.
In his blog today, Busch writes:
As a reformed currency trader, I often can asked why I spend my time following what happens in politics. Does the resignation of Sen. Dodd really matter? Why should we care if Congress fights over health care or regulatory reform? What difference does it make if there’s an estate tax or not? These are all questions that seem to have very little on the surface to do with currencies and the value of the dollar.
The best answer to all of this is that it all matters. Since the 1930s and the seismic shift of US governmental intervention into the private sector, the economy has been buffeted by the use of the very tools that were supposed to reduce variation in unemployment and growth. Namely, monetary and fiscal policy. As we are focused on politics, we’ll look at the fiscal side of the equation which includes tax and spending policies.
For more information about Andrew Busch, visit his site.
The program, sponsored in part by Harris, NA, will be at Gaslite Manor, 2485 Church Road, Aurora, on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 11:00 a.m. Reservations are required: $25 Members; $35 Non-Members. The Chamber’s 72-hour cancellation policy applies. For information, visit http://www.aurorachamber.com/forecast.asp or call (630) 897-9214.