National Restaurant Association adds health insurance options for small operators

More than 120 plans are available for companies with as few as two employees.

The National Restaurant Association is offering member companies a way to extend health insurance to their staffs at specially negotiated rates, a benefit afforded by President Trump’s removal of a regulatory restriction last fall.

The association health plan is intended to bring coverage within reach for employers and employees of companies with fewer than 99 staff members. The association said that 120 options are available to members, providing them with a choice similar to what larger concerns can afford to offer. The coverage can extend to companies as small as two people, according to the group.

The programs are technically provided by a newly formed entity, the Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust Health Plan, which is insured and administrated by the giant insurer UnitedHealthcare.

The association has been working on the new member benefit for two years.

It comes as other trade groups are keeping an eye on Washington, D.C., because of a proposal issued by the White House in October that would loosen restrictions on health plans offered by associations. The new program from the restaurant association conforms to current regulations, according to the organization. 

"At the National Restaurant Association, we understand that association health plans offer much-needed benefits to small businesses in the restaurant industry," Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the association, said in a statement. "Fortunately for small businesses, we have partnered with UnitedHealthcare to pave the way for this innovative association health plan, a vital resource making it easier for companies of all sizes to provide comprehensive and high-quality, affordable health care for their employees." 

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


As restaurant tech consolidates, an ode to the point solution

Tech Check: All-in-one may be all the rage, but there’s value in being a one-trick pony.


Steak and Ale comes back from the dead, 16 years later

The Bottom Line: Paul Mangiamele has vowed to bring the venerable casual-dining chain back for more than a decade. He finally fulfilled that promise. Here’s a look inside.

Consumer Trends

Fast food has lost its reputation as a cheap meal

Years of price hikes are driving consumers to grocery stores and even full-service restaurants, which are now viewed by some as a better deal.


More from our partners