Healthcare Options for Small Business: EOCC has a Plan to Consider

Apr 06, 2021 at 12:16 am by pj


By DOROTHY HARDEE, Chamber Administrator 


In 2018 restrictive government policy regarding Association Health Plans opened another path for employers to reduce health insurance costs.  President Trump signed the executive order making it easier for insurance to be sold across state lines and opening the door for Chambers to develop plans to benefit members. 


The East Orlando Chamber (EOCC) began building the foundation to offer health benefits for members.  Health benefits supplemental program offered options to support traditional insurance products.  For those unable to go the traditional route, we added MDLive offering telehealth covering the entire family, with no deductible, no co-pay, all for one affordable price.


Pre-pandemic, many physician offices were resistant to move into what was considered impersonal patient care online.  However, during COVID-19 pandemic, Healio reported telehealth accounted for 30 percent of total outpatient visits.  It was quite a transition as many clinicians as they adopted the practice to limit exposure for patients and staff.  Flipping from in-person to remote care made it easier, saved time, costs saving for the patient and provided more healthcare access to rural populations.  


Offering insurance can also be difficult for a small business due to a limited number of staff and/or the cost to the bottom line.  As we enter the next phase of “normalcy” the EOCC has ramped up its efforts to help our small business members offering a NEW traditional health insurance program thanks to our collaboration with Trustee Member Avalon Insurance Services, Inc


“The East Orlando Chamber is always striving to add more value to members”, said Andrew Cole, President & CEO.  “In these unprecedented times, we know the value employee benefits play to our organization and members.  Three years ago, we introduced our supplemental plans and with the help of Joe Filice, President of Avalon Insurance Services, we continued to adjust the program to meet the needs of members during the current environment.”


Hiring and keeping talented employees becomes more difficult requiring strategy leveraging benefits as a recruitment and retention tool.  Of the 738 HR professionals surveyed 95 percent said health care benefits were most important to most employees.  According to SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), employee benefits play a role in retention.  “Offering a competitive benefits package, in addition to competitive pay, reduces the likelihood an employee will find the grass greener elsewhere.”


The beauty of the plan now being offered by the EOCC is that it is full-blown employee benefits offered to any employee of one of our member companies.  Enrollment is 100 percent voluntary and requires no financial, service, or administrative responsibilities or liability to the member company.  Employers can also offer these on a more traditional platform through payroll deduction and can also choose to contribute a portion or all the premiums. Plans are customizable to meet the culture, demographics, and specific needs of the company.  Better yet, everyone can take advantage of this outstanding option: Full time, part time, 1099 & contract employees.


The current plan will allow Chamber Members and their employees to take advantage of these great options:

*EOCC Health Benefits being offered: Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, Accident, Critical Illness, Cancer, Hospital and Telehealth.

*Customizable Employee Benefit Package Offerings: EOCC is offering employee benefits plans like what a traditional employer would offer and gives the member the opportunity to purchase what coverages offered best meet their unique personal and family needs.

*Ease of enrollment: members can utilize a benefit administration system through an assigned website where all information regarding the benefits offered, plan designs and rates will be housed.  On this benefit administration system, the member can research all benefits offered and enroll. 

*Educational Resource:  The benefit administration system combined with the call center and the Services from Avalon Insurance Services and the Meehan Agency will be a resource for employee benefits surpassed by no other chamber in our area.  Members will now have the ability and resource to learn more about employee benefits and how they best meet their unique needs.

*Industry Leading Service:  members will have all benefit offering information available on the online benefit administration system and will also have a call center designed specifically for their plans.  Members will have the options to go online or talk directly with a service representative assigned specifically for their group.

In 2021, it is not surprising that health benefits are the bedrock of compensation strategy especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.  Clutch reported that “health benefits have never been more critical than during the midst of a pandemic.  This pandemic brought fears and anxiety that changed the way people work, eat, buy and live.”  Offering health benefits help employees feel more secure personally and financially, making the EOCC’s option one members should take advantage. 


 The East Orlando Chamber is here to help with unique offerings to help elevate your businesses visibility and connect you with others helping your business thrive.  Our upcoming Healthcare Collaborative, April 8th will explore “Innovative Ways to Reduce Healthcare Costs at the Workplace” featuring Kevin Joyce, Executive Director of Orlando Orthopaedic Center and Joe Filice, President of Avalon Insurance Services.


Are you hungry for more?  Join us for our April 21st Chamber Luncheon discussing Development in Central Florida and its Impact to Business & the Economy.  Don Whyte (Deseret Cattle & Citrus) will moderate the panel discussion with panelists Chuck Fowke, President (Homes by John C. Fowke); Cliff Long, CEO (ORRA); Chassity Vega, President (GOBA) and Chuck Whittall, President (Unicorp National Development). 


May 5th the EOCC will host our W.I.S.E. (Women in Successful Endeavors) Luncheon on “Women in Politics” at The Celeste Hotel sponsored by UCF.    Dana Loncar (Consensus Communication) will moderate our distinguished panel including: Commissioner Mayra Uribe (Orange County District 3); Roseann Harrington, Chief of Staff (Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings) and Teresa Jacobs, Chair (Orange County School Board & Former Orange County Mayor).


For more information or to register call (407) 277-5951 or visit our website at  The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce everywhere East of I-4.  




Virtual Office Hours 

Every Monday 

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM


 Coffee Club East 

(1st Thursday of the month) 

Hear All About it! EOCC has Medical Insurance for Members

Thursday, April 1, 2021 

8:30 – 9:30 AM 

Bonefish Grill Waterford Lakes

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando, FL 32838 

FREE to EOCC Members | FEE Waived for this CC Only 


Battle of the Businesses “After Hours Team Fun”

Thursday, April 1, 2021

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

BB&T now Truist Drive Through

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando, FL 32828

Registration required.


Testimonial Tuesday on Location

At Sonny’s BBQ Alafaya Trail

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

11:00 – 11:30 AM

LIVE of Facebook


Misters & Sisters Great Lunch Adventures

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Sonny’s BBQ Alafaya Trail

855 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32828


Healthcare Council Collaborative Virtual Panel Discussing & Networking

 Three Things You Should Know: Innovative Ways to Reduce Healthcare Costs at the Workplace


Thursday, April 8, 2021

7:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Virtual Event | Registration required


Testimonial Tuesday 

At Sonny’s BBQ Alafaya Trail

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Featuring Betsy Lopez (Aloma Bowl); Yensi Castro (Hilton Garden Inn UCF) & Justin Meyer (Rosenthal Meyer, PLLC)

LIVE of Facebook


The Hybrid Member Academy: Roadmap to Member Success

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 

8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Hybrid Event - East Orlando Chamber office 

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828 


 Coffee Club Nona  

(3rd Thursday of the month) 

“What Would You Do? Tricky Customer Svc. Scenarios”

Thursday, April 15, 2021 

8:30 – 9:30 AM 

Sam’s Club Lake Nona 

11920 Narcoossee Road, Orlando, FL 32832 

FREE to EOCC Members | $10 for Non-Members 


Virtual Office Hours 

Most Thursdays

4:00 – 5:00 PM


EOCC Spark 365 Brain Trust After Hours

Thursday, April 20, 2021

4:00 – 5:30 PM

East Orlando Chamber office 

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828 

Member Exclusive with Limited space


Chamber Luncheon: Development in Central FL: Impact to Business & the Economy Panel

Featuring Don Whyte (Deseret Cattle & Citrus); Chuck Fowke (Homes by John C. Fowke); Cliff Long (ORRA); Chassity Vega (GOBA); & Chuck Whittall (Unicorp National Development)

April 21, 2021

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel

5445 Forbes Place, Orlando, FL 32812

$40 EOCC Members | $50 Non-members

Registration required | Seating is limited


EOCC Spark 365 Brain Trust

Thursday April 22, 2021

8:00 – 9:30 AM

East Orlando Chamber office 

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828 

Member Exclusive with Limited space


Dance the Night Away After Hours at Arthur Murray’s

Thursday April 22, 2021

5:30 – 7:00 PM

Arthur Murray Dance Studio of Waterford Lakes

2504 S. Alafaya Trail, #110, Orlando, FL 32828

$10 per person for Dance Lesson, wine, beer & light snacks


EOCC Non-Profit Roundtable – Hybrid Event

“Supporting Your Non-Profit Board”

Thursday, April 28, 2021

9:00 – 10:00 AM

Powered by Powernet &

East Orlando Chamber office 

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Ste. 245, Orlando, FL 32828 

Member Exclusive


W.I.S.E. (Women in Successful Endeavors Businesswomen Networking Lunch

“Women in Government” Featuring Moderator Dana Loncar, Consensus Communication

Distinguished panel includes: Commissioner Mayra Uribe (District 3); Roseann Harrington, Chief of Staff Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings; Teresa Jacobs, Orange County School Board Chair and Former Orange County Mayor

May 5, 2021

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

The Celeste Hotel

4105 N Alafaya Trail, Orlando, FL 32826

$40 EOCC Members | $50 Non-members

Registration required | Seating is limited


Healthcare Council Collaborative Virtual Panel Discussing & Networking

 Three Things You Should Know: Physician Practice & Value Based Care – Is it the Key to Success Moving Forward?

Featuring Larry Jones, Executive Director of Integrated Independent Physicians Network and Fraser Cobbe, President at Cobbe Consulting & Management and PSCF

Thursday, May 13, 2021

7:45 AM – 9:00 AM

Virtual Event | Registration required