Novel Approach to Health Plans Gains Traction with Small Businesses

As the Obama administration wrestles with how to expand health-care coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, some local organizations are finding creative ways to help cover one of the most affected groups — employees of small businesses.

The programs typically involve collaboration between business owners, nonprofit groups and local hospitals, which offer enrollees a range of medical services at a reduced rate. The plans keep costs down partly by bypassing the extra costs that come with traditional insurance. That can be a big help for small-business employees who can’t afford traditional insurance.

Small-business employees make up a disproportionate share of the country’s uninsured. Some 15% of U.S. residents, or about 46 million people, were uninsured as of 2007, the latest data available, according to the Census Bureau. Meanwhile, 32% of workers at U.S. companies with fewer than 25 employees were uninsured in that year, and 21% of employees at firms with 25 to 99 workers had no coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Click HERE to read more about these new health care coverage ideas.

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