New Legislation May Help Small Business Insurance Woes

The recently passed 2004 Affordable Healthcare for Floridians Act, with provisions designed to help ease health insurance costs for small businesses, will be a focus of a small business briefing at 11:45 a.m. Thursday at the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Co-hosted by the Winter Park Health Foundation and the Chamber as part of the national Cover the Uninsured Week campaign, the event is called a “Small Business Briefing on the Health Insurance Challenge.”

Matt Davies, Chief Executive Officer of United Healthcare, will provide information on the new Florida legislation which will go into effect July 1. In addition, Andria Herr, health insurance expert from Allied Group Insurance, will share tips on working with insurance agents so a company can make the best use of its insurance dollars.

The event is one of more than a thousand scheduled around the country to draw attention to the growing problem of uninsured citizens. Nationally, Cover the Uninsured Week is coordinated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a diverse group of national organizations. Former presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter are Honorary Co-Chairs.

In research released to kick off the event, RWJF announced that there are significant numbers of working Americans in every state lacking health care coverage.

There are 44 million uninsured Americans, including 8.5 million children. In Orange County, nearly 151,000 residents lack health insurance and 79 percent of these residents have full- or part-time jobs. Nearly 14 percent of all Orange County children do not get regular primary care because they are not covered.

” Cover the Uninsured Week gives us all a chance to focus the attention of citizens and leaders on the plight of the uninsured,” said Patricia Maddox, president of the Winter Park Health Foundation. Access to health care is an area of concern for the Foundation, and is the reason the group felt compelled to participate in this national campaign.