Restaurant Association Joins With UnitedHealth on Coverage Initiative
On Friday, the National Restaurant Association and UnitedHealth Group unveiled a new initiative designed to extend coverage to the approximately four million to six million U.S. restaurant employees who currently lack health benefits, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Restaurant workers account for about 10% of the country's uninsured population, according to project organizers.
During its annual convention in Chicago, the restaurant groupÂ announced a new website that will allow restaurant owners and employees to explore a range of UnitedHealth plans available in Colorado and Pennsylvania. Officials aim to extend the program to California, Florida, Illinois and Texas within a year.
The options would include health plans that cover preventive care, routine office visits and catastrophic events.
UnitedHealth executives said the employer-sponsored plans offered through the program could be available for 10% to 20% less than the cost of typical HMO or PPO plans offered to small businesses.
Pre-Existing Conditions Still Could Pose Barrier
Under the initiative, UnitedHealth still could deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions until 2014.Starting that year, insurers will be barred from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions under provisions of the federal health reform law (Levey/Hamburger, Los Angeles Times, 5/21). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.