If health care reform has you confused, you're certainly not alone. Nearly one year after Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, many Californians are still trying to fully understand potential implications of the law.
Among businesses likely to be affected the most are restaurants, many of which are small businesses that rely on full- or part-time employees who often lack health coverage. If that describes your staff of workers, don't despair — many tasks can be done before the law is implemented to help employees find health insurance.
While you aren’t required to cover part-time employees, you can help them find and enroll in products and programs that are available right now. For example, some employees will be eligible to enroll in their parents’ health insurance plan. Some may be eligible to enroll in existing public programs. Still others can find inexpensive individual coverage. And, as the dust begins to clear from the effort to enact reform, many new and creative programs that can assist restaurant employees are beginning to emerge.
UnitedHealthcare has recently joined the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to develop a new program with the needs of part-time restaurant employees in mind. The Restaurant Healthcare Discount Program is a dynamic and cost-effective way to help employees receive discounts on a wide range of health care services.
For as little as $5 per employee per month, the program combines three popular employee health services into one affordable program. These include:
UnitedHealth Allies® Health Discount Program, which offers savings of up to 50 percent on a wide range of healthcare services offered through 450,000 provider locations nationwide. Simply showing a provider the program discount card can enable your employees to receive services such as basic medical care, laser vision correction, eyeglasses, addiction treatment, medical imaging and much more — all at greatly discounted prices
ScriptSave® Prescription Drug Savings Program, which discounts brand name and generic prescription drugs an average of 28 percent.
UnitedHealthcare Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), which can help part-time employees determine whether they are eligible for new products and programs. UnitedHealthcare EAP also provides 24-hour telephone access to licensed clinicians who can help your employees with their health and wellness questions.
If you don't cover any of your own employees, make sure that you and your family have health insurance. Consider individual health plans with a Health Savings Account, which are triple-tax advantaged. Deposits, withdrawals for qualified medical expenses and gains are not subject to income tax, making them extremely attractive in this fast-changing health care climate.
Finally, UnitedHealthcare is proud to partner with the California Restaurant Association (CRA), which has been your trusted adviser on critical issues affecting your business. The CRA not only exists to serve restaurant decision makers, but have identified innovative and cost-effective programs designed to benefit restaurant employers and employees across the state. To better serve your health care needs, UnitedHealthcare and the CRA have created a health insurance options center at 800.293.1951.