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Business Leaders Consider Health Care

Sandy Parker, President and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance
Michelle Faust
Sandy Parker, President and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance

In an effort to better understand how the Affordable Care Act affects local employers, the Rochester Business Alliance held a conference Thursday morning.

The majority of RBA members offer health coverage to their employees. Chris Wiest, RBA Vice President, says the organization is dedicated to making the process easier.

"It's the number one issue among our member companies. The number one concern they have in doing business in New York State: rising health care costs have been a huge challenge," said Wiest.

While the costs for both employers and their employees are on the rise, much of the discussion centered on the comparatively lower costs in the greater Rochester area.

Kent Gardner, Chief Economist at the Center for Governmental Research, address the crowd of business leaders.

"I've looked at the numbers as well. We are cheaper in terms of total health care. We are cheaper on the Medicare side. We're cheaper on the private insurance side. And we do have excellent health outcomes," said Gardner.

Breakout sessions centered on legal issues to consider when designing a health coverage package, how benefits are changing, and wellness programs.