Posts Tagged - ‘restaurant’

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More Restaurant Employees To Get Health Insurance

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Image: pixeljones under CC 3.0

When it comes to low-wage service jobs, the restaurant industry is at the forefront. Many employees earn minimum wage or less, due to expected tips. Many employers do not offer health insurance. Other times, the insurance is just too expensive for employees with variable hours. That is why up to 10% of the currently uninsured are those working in the food service industry.

A breakthrough agreement looks to change the status quo. United HealthCare (one of America’s largest health insurers) and the National Restaurant Association (a leading trade group) are working together to increase health insurance plan access to employees.

Four to six million people will be affected. So far, the program will only be available in several states, but they are looking towards expansion nationwide.

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Affordable Health Insurance Reform Brings Menu Calorie Counts

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

(Image: Rachel from Cupcakes Take The Cake under CC 3.0)

America’s obesity epidemic is widely considered at least partly to blame for rising health insurance costs. So why not include some attempts at preventative measures in the health bill?

At least, that’s what Democrats thought. After similar laws in New York City and California, chain restaurants with more than 20 locations nationwide are now required to post calorie counts on their menus for all regular items. The Food and Drug Administration will set a new standard. Vending machines will also be subject to the regulation.

Many chains already offer nutrition information, but it is often hidden in a far-away poster, pamphlet, or on their website. Supporters believe that the new standard will help people make better food choices as they order, while opponents are skeptical of its effectiveness. Moreover, it is yet another example of increasing government involvement. While obesity is associated with conditions like diabetes and heart disease–which make health insurance plans more expensive due to the cost of treatment–is this approach too reminiscent of a nanny state?

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Small County Helps Workers Get Healthcare

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

One small restaurant is not waiting for the White House to solve the healthcare dilemma. In downtown Pueblo, Colo., a restaurant called Gold Dust Saloon is helping its employees buy affordable health insurance.

The company is one of 30 participating in a county program to provide low-cost coverage to employees of small businesses. The program is called the “three share”. The cost of insurance is split three ways; cooks and waitresses from the restaurant pay a portion, and the worker and the community cover the remaining balance. In Pueblo, two local hospitals pay the community portion.

The program is the only way such employees can afford medical coverage. Many small businesses have stopped offering workers group health insurance due to skyrocketing premiums. The three share program is helpful but only reaches out to a small group. Millions of others still have no one to help cover their insurance costs.

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