The ever-changing rules and regulations of the Affordable Care Act can pose difficulties for foodservice operators to understand the benefits and health care options they should make available to their employees. In an effort to demystify complex legislation and expertly guide its members, the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) has formed the Health Insurance Council (HIC), presented by UnitedHealthcare.
The HIC is comprised of a coalition of seven premier health insurance and benefits companies. Their specialists are available to consult with IRA member restaurants and foodservice establishments to help them better understand compliance requirements. It also provides opportunities for development and education, outlining best practices that portray effective and fair compensation. The HIC also maintains a blog via the IRA website that translates Affordable Care Act legislation into easily understandable language.
“It has never been more challenging for restaurant operators to stay profitable than it is today,” says TJ Callahan, IRA’s chair of the HIC and co-owner of Farmhouse Tavern in Chicago and Evanston. “Whether a local pizzeria, a multi-unit franchisee, franchisor, or restaurant group, the HIC is here to help. The Affordable Care Act presents a set of formidable challenges to restaurant and foodservice owners, operators and entrepreneurs in Illinois, and this is a valuable resource for those struggling to comply with its requirements. It’s an invaluable benefit for members.”
HIC experts include representatives from:
- Heil & Kay
- Mesirow Financial
- Total Insurance Services
- Regit Inc.
As an additional benefit, eligible members of the IRA can access potential savings of up to five percent on UnitedHealthCare’s standard medical product portfolio, which offers a broad range of plan designs and options through its vast care provider network. The sponsor of the HIC also offers members up to a five percent discount on specialty benefits products, including dental, vision, life, and disability for fully insured groups. UnitedHealthCare is the only endorsed health insurance carrier of the Illinois Restaurant Association.
“It’s a win-win connection for our members, the association and our partner, UnitedHealthcare,” says IRA president & CEO Sam Toia.