When Ed Gussio stood on the precipice of the American Healthcare Act, he could only look back a few years to when he was standing on the precipice of the Affordable Care Act. It has been a bumpy ride for Arizona and it promises to continue for the foreseeable future.
“I guess I want to say I feel much more prepared for the uncertainty that lies ahead because we have gone through this. There are a lot of unanswered questions.”
Gussio is the owner of Benefit Logic, which finds insurance solutions for businesses, families and individuals.
Gussio and his associates have had to remain nimble to keep up with the changes.
That is one reason Gussio’s business has been nominated for the BBB Torch Award for Ethics.
It is the highest award for a business that the Better Business Bureau can bestow, said Marilyn Huffman, regional director of the BBB in Northern Arizona, and it is not easy to be nominated.
“A business goes through a lot to compete,” she said. “They need to examine their commitment to ethical practices, performances and commitment to their local community, giving back in some way. The feedback is eye-opening for them. You may think you have reached the top, but are reminded there are ways to grow and improve.”
Benefit Logic is the only Northern Arizona finalist in the category of businesses with 10 to 20 employees.
“We are lumped in with Phoenix so it’s pretty much all of Arizona from Phoenix North,” said Gussio.
“We had to provide the BBB with a great deal of information about how our company operates, like training on ethics and our company’s philosophy. We sent them our employee manual and how we monitored that. We had to give them letters of reference from clients, community leaders and financial institutions.”
In late February, the company went through a series of panel interviews. “They gave us a whole list of questions about how do we make sure employees demonstrate ethics, how we demonstrate stewardship in the community.”
Gussio says others complete the process, including Amy Hammond and Maria Gillespie.
On April 12, there will be an awards ceremony at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, where the winners will be announced.
The winners will move on to national competition.
For Gussio, the award would be extremely satisfying as Benefit Logic celebrates 20 years in business, but he and his associates stay grounded in day-to-day operations.
“We are keeping our finger on the pulse of proposed changes. Should they become a reality, we will know how to guide our clients.”
He says changes are needed in the current health insurance program, no matter who became president, especially in Arizona where choices have dwindled.
“Every year fewer and fewer insurance companies have participated,” he said. “At first there were 83. The long story short is that the law incentivizes to buy insurance, but is highly contingent on everyone buying.”
Calling it “adverse selection,” Gussio says the people who bought insurance really needed it and some of those who felt healthy enough did not buy it despite the threat of fines.
“We know our clients are the backbone [of Benefit Logic] and I know my employees are the backbone because they work with the clientele.” FBN
By Patty McCormac, FBN
Benefit Logic is located at 2321 N. Fourth Street in Flagstaff. For more information, call 928-526-5691 or visit benefitlogic.net.