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Choice Hotels Selects PAI as Qualified Vendor to Offer Health Benefits to Part-Time, Hourly Workers in Its Franchisee Base
Date:4/24/2008

COLUMBIA, S.C., April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International (Choice) announced today that it will make HospitalityCare, a limited benefit health insurance plan from Planned Administrators Inc. (PAI), available to its franchisees and their part-time and hourly employees nationwide.

With the announcement, the franchisees that own and operate the more than 4,400 Choice brand hotels in the United States now have the option of offering HospitalityCare to their part-time and hourly employees. Enrollment is under way.

HospitalityCare is an affordable, limited benefit plan customized to meet the needs of part-time and hourly workers and employers in the hospitality industry.

Offering limited health benefits to hourly and part-time workers will help Choice franchise owners recruit and retain the best employees, according to Choice's Paul Payette, senior director, franchisee solutions, brand solutions. Choice is the nation's second-largest hotel franchisor, with 4,400 hotels in the United States and more than 5,500 worldwide. Choice's U.S. franchised hotels employ approximately 40,000 workers.

"This totally new and unique plan has not before been made available on this scale in the hospitality industry," Payette said. "It's a way of doing our part to help our franchisees make health care more readily available to their hardworking hotel employees and their children. It's no secret that a happy, healthy employee is more productive, more loyal and will provide better customer service.

"Choice will always be committed to helping franchisees find innovative solutions to better their business."

PAI, based in Columbia, S.C., administers HospitalityCare, providing customer service to employers and covered employees, maintaining provider networks, and paying claims. HospitalityCare plans are designed and sold through Insurance Applications Group (IAG) of Greenville, S.C., and underwritten by BCS Insurance Co. of Oakbrook, Ill., and Companion Life Insurance Co. of Columbia, S.C.

HospitalityCare and PAI's other limited benefit plans do not include catastrophic coverage, but offer a basic plan to provide coverage for day-to-day health care needs, including doctor's office visits and prescription drugs. The plans also provide coverage for other services, including maternity care, minor surgery, outpatient care and more, as well as access to the largest PPO network and a 24-hour nurse adviser line. Vision, dental, life and short-term disability benefits also are available.

"Service industries like restaurants, grocers, retailers, temporary staffing and hospitality are seeking cost-effective solutions for attracting and retaining hourly employees, and many companies are turning to limited health benefits to meet their goals," said David Huntington, PAI's president and chief operating officer.

"Companies offering health benefits often experience a substantial reduction in employee turnover rates, leading to lower costs associated with hiring and training, improved customer service, and better employee morale."

Employees pay for HospitalityCare through convenient payroll deductions that generally equal about two hours' pay each week. Dependent and family coverage also is available. Employers have the option of whether or not to contribute to employee premiums.

Employers of part-time or hourly workers seeking more information on HospitalityCare or other PAI limited benefit plans should call 803-462-3187.

About PAI

Providing value for self-funded plans since 1981, Planned Administrators Inc. is a third-party administrator (TPA) of health care plans. The company is focused on claims administration, utilization management and customer service, with expertise in payroll deduction, limited benefit administration, and in administering health plans that help national clients with part-time and hourly workers achieve their recruitment and retention goals. For more information, visit http://www.paisc.com.

About Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels International franchises more than 5,500 hotels worldwide, representing more than 450,000 rooms, in the United States and 37 countries and territories. As of December 31, 2007, 1,004 hotels are under development in the United States, representing 79,342 rooms, and an additional 89 hotels, representing 8,640 rooms, are under development in more than 15 countries and territories. The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.choicehotels.com.


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SOURCE Planned Administrators Inc.
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