Business Briefs


Golden Plains announces new board members

Golden Plains announces new board members

The 2014 Board of Directors of Golden Plains Credit union are: Leo Hanneman, retired; Dwight Smith, retired owner of Palace Computer Center; Dave Piper, chief financial officer of Stevens County Hospital, Hugoton; Jowilla Couch, retired senior vice president of operations for Golden Plains; and Patrick Garcia, operator of Ragel Monument Co.

The board officers are Piper, chairman; Hanneman, vice-chairman; and Couch, secretary/treasurer.

Golden Plains recently merged with Ellsworth Federal Credit Union located in Ellsworth. The credit union also opened new locations in Parsons and Pittsburg in March.

Agent Hawley recognized for customer service

American Family Insurance agent Neil Hawley has been recognized with the American Star Excellence in Customer Experience Certification for providing outsanding customer service.

Hawley has been an agent for American Family since December 1995. His office is at 108 W. Kansas Ave.

The service excellence distinction is determined through an evaluation process that includes a customer satisfaction survey measuring customers' overall experience with their American Family agent. Only agencies performing in the top 20 percent of all insurance agencies nationwide based on the customer satisfaction surveys are eligible to earn the American Star Excellence distinction in cusomer experience.

COBRA-eligible workers can choose plans

Model notices informing workers of their eligibility to continue health insurance under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconcilation Act are being updated to reflect the fact they could instead choose to purchse plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

"In many cses, workers eligible for COBRA continuation coverage can save significant sums of money by instead purchasing insurance through the Marketplace," Assisant Secretary of Labor for Employee Benefits Security Phyllis C. Borzi said. "COBRA continues to play an important role in helping workers and families maintain coverage after a job loss, and it is important that workers know that in some cases there is a Marketplace option as well."

Workers and families eligible for employer-sponsored coverage generally must be informed of their right to COBRA continuation coverage at the start of employment and wen separating from a job. The proposed updates to the model notices would offer information on options available through the Marketplace, where workers and families may be eligible for financial assistance that would not otherwise be available for COBRA continuation coverage.

In most cses, workers and families eligible for but not enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage would be able to enroll in Marketplace coverage outside the normal open enrollment period.

The Departments of Labor, health and Human Services, and Treasury are publishing frequently asked questions related to the proposed changes to the model notices. The FAQ is available on the Department of Labor website at or the HHS website at

A clarifying bulletin is available for individuals already enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage who may be eligible for a special enrollment period in the Marketplace at

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