Chamber offers healthcare seminar series

WEIRTON – Businesses and residents will be experiencing many changes as a result of new federal healthcare laws, and questions are sure to come up about what people can expect.

With that in mind, the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday it will be hosting an educational series for its member businesses focused on the impacts of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Weirton Chamber President Brenda Mull explained the chamber has been fielding questions from area businesses concerning the healthcare laws, and wanted to make sure the most up-to-date and accurate information was available.

“We know there are going to be a lot of changes in healthcare,” Mull said. “It will affect the business community.”

The series is being held in partnership with WesBanco Insurance Services, Assure America and Wells Fargo Insurance Services.

Three seminars currently are scheduled, with each beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Serbian American Cultural Center. The cost is $15 per session, which includes a continental breakfast.

Sessions will include:

March 13 – Understanding the West Virginia Healthcare Exchange, presented by Jeremiah Samples, director of health policy for the West Virginia Insurance Commission. The session will focus on how the state’s healthcare exchange will operate and its impact to employers.

April 10 – Understanding the Employer Mandate, presented by David Fields, chief executive officer of HealthAmerica. It will focus on explaining the mandates that exist for employers under the PPACA and strategies to minimize costs.

May 1 – Understanding the Individual Mandate, presented by Fred Early, CEO of Highmark West Virginia. The session will focus on the PPACA mandates for individuals and their potential impacts on employers.

“We’ll give them the best information we have,” Mull said.

Bob Babinchak, of WesBanco Insurance Services, explained the topics were selected based on what they felt was most important to chamber member businesses.

Speakers then were selected to best complement the topics of discussion.

“We chose the speakers according to the segments,” John Frankovitch, of Assure America, explained.

All sessions will be approximately 60 minutes in length with an opportunity for a question-and-answer session.

Because of space limitations, reservations are required and can be made by calling the Weirton Chamber at (304) 748-7212 or by email at

(Howell can be contacted at, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)