The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3178.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 1:06 PM

Abstract #68655

Insuring the uninsured: Planning for a three share plan for small business by a community partnership

Joel B. Cowen, MA, Health Systems Research, Universtiy of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, 1601 Parkview Avenue, Rockford, IL 61107, 815/395-5639, and Raymond W. Empereur, MPA, Rockford Health Council, 1601 Parkview Ave, Rockford, IL 61107.

Under an initiative to reduce uninsured persons, the Rockford Health Council sought to create a health insurance plan for small businesses. To learn the current status, the Council first commissioned Health Systems Research to survey small businesses with 280 surveys returned. Only half offered health insurance, usually a PPO, but not all employees were eligible. Some employees use their spouses' plan and others have coverage at another job. Many employers believe that employees cannot afford the premium, co-payments or deductibles. Asked why health insurance is not offered, cost predominates, named as important by almost all respondents. Health plan premiums have been accelerating rapidly, 26% annually. Some employers don't know how to find reasonably priced coverage. Plans are to offer a "three share" basic plan in Spring 2003 in which one-third of the premium is paid by the employer, one-third by the employee and the other third supported by the Council from an SBA grant. Nearly three-quarters of respondents lacking coverage said employees are likely to take part in such a plan. The "break point" at which participation falls below half is about $75 a month per employee. Based on responses, an estimated 4,000 local employees might participate in the plan with effective marketing. Following analysis of survey results, the Council designed a proposed plan including coverage elements and issued a RFP. Proposals received were evaluated by the Council and the preferred one chosen for introduction and marketing to the community.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Insurance, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Rockford Health Council - evaluator surveyer under contract.

Uninsured: Reaching, Enrolling and Serving Them

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA