The Hays County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to join Williamson County and the Travis County Healthcare District in providing start-up funding for a three-county program that would help small businesses offer their employees affordable health care.
The court earlier this year had declared its intent to support the pilot program, but waited until more details were available before approving the funds. The $32,550 authorized by the Court for the first year of funding will not be used for subsidizing premiums.
“Counties don’t get many opportunities to be this innovative and act out of the box,” said County Judge Elizabeth Sumter. “By offering health care opportunities to our business community, we help small businesses be more competitive while reducing the number of uninsured residents in our county. It’s a win-win-win situation – it’s good for small businesses, good for employees and ultimately good for taxpayers.”
The program, based on an existing program in the Galveston area and expected to be self-sustaining financially by the end of its third year of operation, is designed to help businesses with between two and fifty employees provide basic healthcare coverage for an average of $245 per employee per month. The goal is to obtain as many as 2,500 insured persons in the tri-county area within three years and help relieve county-subsidized health programs. In addition, the ability of a small business to offer health care to its employees can help Hays County remain competitive in attracting and retaining small companies.
The agreement with TexHealth Central Texas, a community-based non-profit group formed by the entities involved, includes no more than $36,401 and $18,620 for operational expenses in its second and third year, respectively, from Hays County.
For information about the program or to see if your business qualifies, please call call TexHealth at 1-877-704-0111, visit http://www.texhealthcentraltex.org/ or talk to a local provider.
— FROM HAYS COUNTY/LAUREEN CHERNOWEmail | Print