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Restaurant Health Care Alliance Offers Health Insurance to Owners, Employees


Restaurant owners and their employees, including wait staff, cooks, and dishwashers, often do not have health insurance because it has not been affordable for a small business like a restaurant. The National Restaurant Association and UnitedHealthcare have teamed up and created the Restaurant Health Care Alliance, which offers various affordable health insurance options to restaurant employees in the United States.

According to UnitedHealthcare, 4 to 6 million people who work in the food service industry do not have health insurance at any given time. That represents a significant portion of the 12.7 million people employed by the restaurant industry, as noted by the National Restaurant Association. In an effort to provide both restaurant owners and their workers easy access to affordable health insurance options, the Restaurant Health Care Alliance launched its new program on May 22, 2010.

Initially, the program will be available only to state restaurant associations in Pennsylvania and Colorado, as well as insurance agents and advisers who represent restaurant clients in those two states. The Alliance plans to expand into other states throughout 2010.

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Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, noted in a news release that “Our members will benefit by providing them easier access to affordable health care coverage for their employees and dependents and allow for future opportunities to provide added benefits.” The Alliance will also assist restaurant owners and employees in understanding the ins and outs of their health insurance plan and the options available to them, as well as tax and eligibility changes that are taking place in 2010 and in years to come.

UnitedHealthcare noted that it is offering restaurant workers innovative health plan options that provide significant savings in premiums when compared with traditional health plans. In some markets, UnitedHealthcare Catalyst(SM) is an available option that combines comprehensive catastrophic plan coverage with an up-front benefit allowance for specific preventive-care services.

Employees who do not have health insurance through their employer will be able to choose from a variety of UnitedHealthcare’s affordable individual and family plans beginning at less than $100 per month. Dental plans and discount health cards will be available as well.

The Restaurant Health Care Alliance is a health insurance resource for people employed by the food service industry. “We are excited about this unique opportunity to partner with the National Restaurant Association to tailor health care information and products that best meet the needs of restaurant owners and employees,” said Gail Boudreaux, president of UnitedHealthcare.

National Restaurant Association