April 16, 2008

Small Business Owners Invited to Free Seminar on Health Insurance Options

Event is offered as part of Cover the Uninsured Week 2008

Small business owners looking for affordable employee health insurance coverage can learn about some of their options at a free seminar on Thursday, May 1, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Associated Grocers conference room, 8600 Anselmo, Baton Rouge. The deadline to register is April 25.

The free half-day seminar is one of several activities planned for the Cover the Uninsured Week, April 27 to May 3. Now in its sixth year, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Cover the Uninsured campaign is the largest mobilization in history to shine a national spotlight on the need to secure health coverage for all Americans. Closer to home, more than 16 percent of adult Louisianians live without health insurance, many of them employed full-time.

"All Louisiana citizens - regardless of their insurance status - need to get involved and share our concern about this urgent issue," said Jim Donelon, Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Insurance, which is cosponsoring the seminar with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. "There has never been a more important time for us to come together and make Louisiana's uninsured a top priority."

The May 1 seminar will feature panel discussions on health insurance basics, consumer-directed healthcare, health savings accounts, how to work with a broker and other topics. Attendees will receive a useful guide on insurance options and have a chance to visit with several major group health insurance carriers. Refreshments will be provided at a reception following the seminar from 4:30 to 6 p.m. View agenda

Any small business owner in the greater Baton Rouge area is encouraged to attend, but space is limited. Those interested should register online by April 25 at the Louisiana Department of Insurance website: Anyone with questions may contact Thomas Clemons, Louisiana Department of Insurance (ph. 225-219-4772; e-mail, or Robin Mayhall, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (ph. 225-298-1992; e-mail

Organizations sponsoring Cover the Uninsured Week nationwide include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, Healthcare Leadership Council, AARP, United Way of America, American Medical Association, National Medical Association, American Nurses Association, Families USA, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Service Employees International Union, The California Endowment, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to the most recent figures available from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 44 million Americans - including more than 8 million children - have no health coverage. The Institute of Medicine estimates that nearly 50 people die each day because they are uninsured and cannot get the medical care they need.

Organizers of Cover the Uninsured Week - the largest campaign in history to focus attention on the need to secure health coverage for Americans - will encourage people from all walks of life to talk with their friends and neighbors and get involved. An interactive website helps people get facts on the uninsured in each state, find local Cover the Uninsured Week events, write an op-ed piece or letter to the editor, place a web button on their own websites and support the campaign in numerous other ways. For more information, log on to