The National Restaurant Association and UnitedHealthcare Saturday will launch the Restaurant Health Care Alliance, offering a suite of products that will help nearly 13 million restaurant employees gain easier access to health care coverage and related products and services. Today, 4 million to 6 million of the nation's nearly 13 million food service industry employees are uninsured at any given time.
 
The Restaurant Health Care Alliance, which has been in development for nearly two years, will provide restaurant owners and employees easy access to cost-effective health benefit options that meet the health care needs of this diverse industry.  In addition, it will help restaurant owners and employees understand their health care coverage options as well as tax and eligibility changes that are occurring in 2010 and beyond.
 
Qualified small-business member restaurants will be introduced to innovative health plan options offered by UnitedHealthcare that offer significant annual premium savings compared to traditional health plans. In some markets, UnitedHealthcare CatalystSM is one of the options available and combines comprehensive catastrophic plan coverage with an up-front benefit allowance for certain preventive-care services.
 
Individual employees who do not have employer-sponsored coverage can choose from a wide range of UnitedHealthcare's cost-effective individual and family plans, some of which start under $100 per month.  Other products, including dental plans and discount health cards, will also be available.
 
The Restaurant Health Care Alliance launches May 22 and is available to restaurant owners and employees, as well as insurance agents and advisers who serve the restaurant industry.  The resources and tools developed by the Alliance will be available online at www.restauranthealthcare.org.
 
"As the nation's second-largest private-sector employer, the restaurant industry is dedicated to finding affordable health care solutions for our workers," said Dawn Sweeney, NRA president and CEO.  "We are committed to reducing costs in the health care system and expanding health care coverage for our work force. UnitedHealthcare's vast experience and diverse capabilities make them the right partner in developing the Restaurant Health Care Alliance. Our members will benefit by providing them easier access to affordable health care coverage for their employees and dependents and allow for future opportunities to provide added benefits."
 
"We are excited about this unique opportunity to partner with the National Restaurant Association to tailor health care information and products that best meet the needs of restaurant owners and employees," said Gail Boudreaux, president of UnitedHealthcare.

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