LIVINGSTON, NJ — The third edition of the Livingston Chamber of Commerce’s “Lunch and Learn” series, sponsored by Ike’s Bagel Café on Tuesday at the Livingston Senior and Community Center, enlightened guests about “what the heck is going on” in health insurance.

A 30-minute presentation led by guest speaker Joseph Altomare, Exclusive Master Broker, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, explained what would happen with the repeal and/or replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, and how each of these scenarios would affect small-group health plans and individual health coverage.

“Also discussed was what Chris Christie was trying to do with the Horizon Blue Cross reserves and how it finally got resolved,” said LACC President Ira Drucks. “I asked Joe if he would come back some time in the future, when the Federal Government signs into law new health changes, to explain how the new laws would affect our members.”  

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LACC member Bea Chaiklin of NJ Lenders Corp said the presentation was extremely well done and easy to follow.

“There were a lot of good questions and it was an easier format of how to understand what’s going on with insurance and what has happened over the last five years,” she said. “That was really important—I didn’t understand enough, but I do now.”

LACC Executive Director Beth Lippman agreed, stating that Altomare’s presentation was interesting and clarified a lot of her questions about health insurance and what’s going on with the ACA being repealed or replaced.

“It was very interesting and informative and for the first time I have a much better understanding of what’s going on,” she said.

The Lunch and Learn series was introduced this year as a way for the LACC to provide its members with more networking opportunities to accommodate their busy schedules. The lunchtime networking events, held on the last Tuesday of every month from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., also feature a new guest speaker each month to give a 30-minute presentation focused on advanced topics and challenges common among established small businesses.

"The Lunch and Learn series is another way the LACC provides an opportunity to network and become informed about what is important to us as business folks in our community,” said Jan Press of Livingston’s Jan Press Photo Media. “The LACC now offers three options to meet—before work, lunchtime and after work—to meet your fellow Livingston business people. Come and join us…who knows, maybe you'll make some new friends and get some business too."

Drucks added that the Lunch and Learn series has added even more value to LACC memberships because it supplements the LACC’s regular resource breakfasts and after hours Chamber Meet-ups. 

“I hope to see more of our members at our next Lunch & Learn, as these speakers have a lot of information to help in making your business succeed,” said Drucks.

During his afternoon in Livingston, Altomare also encouraged his listeners to support 

“STOMP the Monster,” a 501©3 not-for-profit organization that provides financial and other support to cancer patients, their families and their caregivers—including transportation, gas money, food cards, assistance paying bills and more. STOMP the Monster, which is hosting its 2017 Ironman 70.3 in Atlantic City on Sept. 17, relies on the support of companies and individuals who give their time and effort to raise money.

To visit Altomare’s fundraising page, click HERE.

The next Lunch and Learn will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 22 and will feature Arnon Amir, owner of GrowthPoint Business Consulting. He will give a presentation entitled, “How to Bring in New Employees and Give Them the Best Chance to Succeed.”

To register, email Beth Lippman at