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National Restaurant Association offering health insurance to small restaurant businesses

National Restaurant Association offering health insurance to small restaurant businesses

The National Restaurant Association and UnitedHealthcare have partnered to create a way for small restaurant businesses to offer health insurance to their employees, a news release said. 

"The Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust has been specifically designed to assist our smaller members with employee retention," NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney said in the release. "This innovative approach provides a competitive edge to small businesses by offering them an array of flexibly priced health benefits tailored to their needs."

The offering focuses on businesses with two to 99 of what the NRA refers to as "insurance-eligible employees. "It includes more than120 plan designs for medical and specialty benefits with prices that can compete with the plans that larger companies offer employees.

"Without a doubt, it is the people — the hardworking servers, cooks, bussers, bartenders, and dishwashers — who provide a memorable dining experience," Sweeney said in the release. "In the restaurant industry and in many others, supporting association health plans is a key step in increasing access to health care, reducing costs, and providing an essential benefit to recruit and retain talented team members."

Association health plans have become increasingly popular over the years since they combine employees into larger pools that can share the cost load of sicker individuals. Restaurant industry businesses often do not make company-sponsored insurance benefits available to lower-paid staff, but it is possible that a large NRA member plan like this one could be a step toward helping smaller restaurant businesses provide that benefit to employees with or without cost to them, according to the release.

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