For Immediate Release - April 21, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK TOUTS NEW SMALL BUSINESS HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM

Business Express Helps Save Money and Ease Burden of High Premiums

Click here to watch a video from Governor Patrick's event in Waltham.

Click here to view photos from the Governor's visit to SuperLogics.

WALTHAM - Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - As part of his efforts to assist small business in creating jobs across the Commonwealth, Governor Deval Patrick today touted a recently launched state program specifically for small businesses struggling with the rising cost of health insurance for their employees. Business Express was launched by the Massachusetts Health Connector in February in conjunction with Governor Patrick's small business jobs bill.

"We must do everything we can for our small businesses - they are the backbone of our economy and will drive our recovery," said Governor Patrick. "Our new Business Express program makes it easier for small employers and brokers to shop and compare plans, and for the smallest employers it substantially reduces administrative costs."

Business Express is for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees and all of its products carry the state's Seal of Approval for quality and value. Because there are no membership fees and reduced administrative costs, many businesses with five or fewer employees may save more than $300 per employee per year.

Matt McGinity, CEO of SuperLogics, a Waltham designer and assembler of high performance rackmount and touch panel computers, said his firm of a dozen employees saved a combined $9,300 for the company and its employees when they chose a Business Express plan this month instead of continuing on with the plan they had previously.

"When our existing health plan provider announced a 23% increase in our health insurance rates we wanted to explore our options," said CEO Matt McGinity. "Business Express made it very easy for us to perform a side by side comparison of each of the health plans offered. Benefits are standardized on the website so you can really compare apples to apples to make the best choice. It saved us time, allowing us to get back to our business of building custom rackmount and touch screen computers for our customers. But perhaps the best part of all is that our company and our employees saved a combined $9,300 compared to what we would have spent if we simply continued on with a very similar plan from another insurer."

"Helping small employers get the best health insurance value for themselves and their employees is so important," said Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez who chairs the Health Connector Board of Directors. "Being able to talk with real people here at SuperLogics who are benefitting from this new program really brings home the significance of the work we are doing at the Health Connector."

"We've achieved near universal coverage for all residents of the Commonwealth, and we continue to look for ways to expand coverage while controlling costs," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. "Business Express is one way to do this."

"It is critical that we provide as many resources as possible for the Commonwealth's small businesses, which account for the majority of Massachusetts companies and employ over a quarter of the state's workforce," said Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki. "The Business Express is another way to ensure that the state's small business community has the support it needs to remain vital and support long term job growth."

"One of our top priorities is to help small businesses find affordable health insurance. It is among the keys to promoting economic recovery while ensuring a healthy work force. This is another step toward that vital goal," said Senator Richard T. Moore, Senate Chairman of the Health Care Financing Committee.

Launched in February with coverage that began April 1, Business Express already has more than 2,900 members.

"Early indications are very positive--small business owners are embracing this new alternative," said Health Connector Executive Director Jon Kingsdale, whose agency had previously focused primarily on helping individuals and families buy health insurance. "The early adopters are quick to see the advantage that Business Express provides them in ease of comparison shopping. Any savings that owners can realize is good for their business."

Small businesses interested in learning more about the program may call a broker or go directly to the Health Connector website, www.MAhealthconnector.org, and enroll online. They may also call the Health Connector's customer service line at 1-877-MA-ENROLL (1-877-623-6765).

More than 200,000 Massachusetts residents are currently enrolled in Connector programs.

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