By John Wolcott HBJ Freelance Writer
TULALIP — The Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce has unveiled a new broad-based benefits program for members that creates a new statewide standard for insurance coverage and lifestyle and wellness programs, including discounted hearing, dental and prescription services.
The chamber is the first in the state to offer the new Member Value Program, which offers medical, dental and group life coverage; disability insurance; senior benefits; business, auto and home policies; and critical illness and 24-hour accident insurance.
The MVP offers discounts on dining, lodging, travel and home repair and coverage for members, their businesses, employees and families. MVP gives chamber members access to benefits for college tuition, lifestyle and wellness; coverage for hearing, prescriptions, lab work and X-rays; identity protection; roadside assistance; ADT Services home security monitoring systems; and pet insurance.
“We’ve been working on this for some time to be able to offer a package that provides everything from health care for members and their employees to college scholarship programs,” said Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Caldie Rogers.
She said the chamber also will extend the same benefits in the near future to “our smaller neighboring chambers who don’t have membership large enough to qualify for the new benefits. We’ll extend those opportunities to use as their own under our umbrella.”
The array of benefits has been assembled by Bill and Jason Yeager, owners of Association Benefits Corp. in Lynnwood, a company that specializes in insurance and service programs for chambers of commerce and associations across Washington state.
“The only requirement is that you must be a member of a chamber or association that is participating in the program,” ABC CEO Bill Yeager said at a media meeting at the chamber offices in late November.
Yeager said his company specializes in offering a wide range of broad-coverage, low-cost insurance by leveraging the large number of chamber of commerce members eligible for programs to obtain favorable rates in the marketplace.
“We spend a lot of time negotiating solid coverage at attractive rates and insurers listen to us because we have such a broad base of potential customers for them,” Yeager said.
Yeager, who initially introduced the program at a Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber meeting in late October, said he will work with the chamber to introduce and explain the new programs, followed by contacting other chambers statewide to offer MVP to their members.
“The most difficult thing for people is to understand everything we’re offering, because there is such a variety of coverage that it can be overwhelming,” Yeager said. “The best way to approach it is for members to just investigate the specific services they need. There are a lot of them, including many not offered elsewhere.”
Yeager developed the program through working with the Washington Chamber of Commerce Executives group to provide insurance coverage and benefits for all chamber members in Washington state.
“The goal is to add major benefits to being a chamber member,” he said.
Nonprofit organizations can use the MVP’s i-Texts advertising program to raise funds for charities and groups such as Boys &Girls Clubs. The i-Text program has shown successful growth already on the East Coast, Yeager said.
Prescription programs can also save members money, using a new service growing rapidly in Eastern states, he said. MVP’s college tuition benefit allows members to earn $1,000 a year toward college scholarships. MVP’s dental program competes well with Washington Dental Service’s programs in the state.
“Most people have a lot of insurance and health-care coverage but there are many, many programs in this package and you can sign up just for the ones you really need,” Yeager said.
The identity protector program costs $6 per month, he said, noting that it provides coverage for one of the fastest growing insurance needs in the state, along with home and business protection by ADT Services.
“The key is that you have to be a chamber member to qualify for using these programs,” Yeager said, “which helps chambers increase and maintain memberships by offering these widely improved services.”
For information, call the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce at 360-659-7700 or go to www.AssociationBenefits.us or call Association Benefits Corp. at 888-538-9534.