Business owners looking for solutions to growing health insurance costs can learn about new options and how to keep costs down at the 2018 Health Care Panel.

“[The panel] is intended to give a sense of the landscape on employer-provided benefits in the area, particularly for small businesses,” said Andrea Baldrica, panelist and senior vice president of employee benefits at HUB International.

The 2018 Health Care Panel will focus on providing health insurance options for businesses from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Garden of the Gods Club, 3320 Mesa Road. The Business Journal and Kaiser Permanente are presenting the event.

Other panelists include: Holly Kortum, executive director of Kaiser Permanente’s Southern Colorado operations; Tatiana Bailey, director of the UCCS Economic Forum; Brian Erling, CEO of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services; and Cory Arcarese, owner of Value Care Health Clinic.

“We are at a point where employers are facing significant decisions on whether their benefit plans are sustainable,” Baldrica said. “While most of them recognize the need for employees, [employers] also are looking for ways to have some creative options that are not passing on costs to employees but ways of managing the plans so that employees can keep them long-term.”

Baldrica plans to speak about innovative solutions employers are developing and using for their employees to keep benefit costs sustainable.

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“Some of things we are seeing today include high deductibles with self-insurance underneath through health reimbursement arrangements,” she said.

Erling intends to provide the health care system’s perspective.

“I am hoping for an open dialogue and I hope to be able to listen to the employer groups and hear what their concerns are as well,” he said. “We all know that health care insurance has got to be one of the fastest-growing costs items on [a business’] ledger.”

Arcarese wants to help dispel myths about health care and the Colorado Springs market.

“My hope is I am able to shed some light on health care access and health equity in our city,” she said. “For me, most of our patients have Medicaid, and it is very much needed insurance in our city.”

Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at