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Business Examiner

Two significant changes were announced recently for government employees whose health insurance is provided by the state Public Employees Benefits Board program. And both include possible cost increases.

Beginning July 1, persons covered will face a $25 per account surcharge if they or any of their covered family members use tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff or other forms. To avoid the financial levy, they can enroll in a PEBB sponsored tobacco cessation program.

There will also be a monthly $50 surcharge if enrolled spouses or domestic partners have chose not to enroll in a medical plan from their own employers that is comparable to a PEBB medical plan. read more »

 

OLYMPIA — The announcement this week by the Obama administration to allow non-compliant or previously cancelled health insurance plans to continue for another two years does not apply to Washington state.

The Obama administration first made the offer to extend non-complaint or cancelled plans for one year last November, but left the decision up to individual state insurance commissioners and the health insurers.

Washington state’s insurance commissioner decided that allowing cancelled health plans to continue would not be in the best interest of the health insurance market and would ultimately harm consumers. Since this announcement last fall, all of the health insurers in the state have confirmed that they support this decision. read more »

 

Union-represented professional and technical employees of Harrison Medical Center hold an informational picket outside the hospital in Bremerton on Feb. 19. Negotiations with Harrison for a new contract for nearly 800 workers began last July but have reached an impasse.There has never been a strike — and possibly never even the threat of one — by any of the union-represented groups of Harrison Medical Center employees, yet a disagreement over language relating to strikes is the primary reason for an impasse in contract negotiations with a group of nearly 800 employees.

Those workers in the “pro-tech” group — medical technicians and employees in a range of other hospital jobs — are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21. read more »

 

Laurence KerrLaurence Kerr, a former career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service was a history teacher at West Sound Academy in Poulsbo and college counselor for Upper School students from 2009 through 2012, has joined the school’s board of trustees. The board is a group of volunteer parents and community members who are responsible for policy decisions, financial oversight and governance of the private school’s affairs.

“We’re extremely pleased that Larry will be joining the board of trustees,” board chair Jeffrey Uyye said. “The global perspective his long service with the State Department brings, along with his familiarity with WSA as a former teacher, fits perfectly with our vision of WSA as an IB World School.” read more »

 

The Alliance of Women Owned Businesses (AWOB) announced the selection of three regional public figures to be judges for the upcoming Crystal Star Awards honoring outstanding women business owners from Pierce, Mason, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

The AWOB awards are presented every other year to women who inspire excellence, run successful businesses, open doors and make a difference in their communities. The judges for the 2014 awards will be Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent, Jeff Rounce, publisher of the Business Examiner in the South Sound, and Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson.

Lent and Anderson previously served as judges for the 2012 awards. Lent, who has been a private business owner herself, said she is looking forward to the opportunity to meet the finalists that are chosen by the organization’s Crystal Star Awards committee. read more »

 

Physical therapists Monica Schutt and Emily Durban will join the staff at New Motion Studio on Bainbridge Island.

Schutt has a doctorate of Physical Therapy from Slippery Rock University and is a nationally certified pilates instructor. Durban received her doctorate in Physical Therapy from University of Puget Sound.

The studio’s class schedule is at www.newmotionpt.com.

 

A Kitchen That Works LLC of Bainbridge Island has been awarded “Best of Houzz for Customer Satisfaction” by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design, for the second year in a row. A Kitchen That Works, owned by Molly McCabe, is a full-service residential design-build firm specializing in kitchen and bath remodeling.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2013. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz. read more »

 

Kelly DeisTurning Point Financial, a Bainbridge Island and Seattle-based regional professional services firm, has changed its name to Soundpoint Consulting to better reflect its focus on strategic, operational and financial management services. The name change coincides with the launch of a new website (www.soundpointbusinessconsulting.com) and the accreditation of company founder Kelly Deis as a Certified Valuation Analyst.

According to Kelly Deis, “the mission and focus of the new firm, Soundpoint Consulting, will remain the same. In addition, we are broadening our service capacity in the area of business valuations.” read more »

 

The Olympic College Foundation will provide over $200,000 in scholarship support to students attending Olympic College during the 2014-15 academic year. Scholarship opportunities are available to anyone interested in attending Olympic College.

Eligibility requirements for scholarships vary and are not solely based on academic achievement. The foundation whs a wide range of scholarship criteria based on program of study, career goals, community service, leadership, and/or interests.

The Olympic College Foundation works with private donors to provide scholarship support for OC students. These scholarships are created by individuals, families, businesses and groups in the community who have a strong commitment to helping students reach their educational goals. read more »

 
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