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Individual Healthcare Reform Necessity in New Business Economy
Date:1/30/2008

WARREN, Mich., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA), along with its sister association Michigan Food and Beverage Association (MFBA), representing over 20,000 business members that employ over 180,000 individuals throughout the state of Michigan are in support of the Individual Healthcare Reform Bills that were passed out of the House late in last year's session and now await Senate approval. "With today's economy in mind, we have seen a shift in the market as it relates to a definition of business in Michigan. There is a growing trend of small businesses that no longer can afford to cover all their employees under a group health plan, thus leaving only the option of individual healthcare," commented Ed Deeb, president of Michigan Business and Professional Association/Michigan Food and Beverage Association. "In addition, we have seen a national trend of more companies going digital, meaning departments and operations are outsourced to 1099 contractors, many of which work out of their homes."

The three main factors driving the Associations' support of the legislation:
1. Feedback from members that they can no longer afford group insurance

2. The trend of companies virtualizing departments and operations.

3. An increase in layoffs and downsizing creating more independent

businesses that work out of their home or are 1099 contractors.

Of MBPA's and MFBA's 20,000 member companies, 3,200 (15%) fall into this individual healthcare market, needing that flexibility in obtaining their healthcare coverage. "This is an area of healthcare that is need of attention. "The concern for our members grows as they are frantically learning how to incorporate the new MBT coupled with Michigan's still stagnant economy into their bottom line," stated Bonnie Bochniak, MBPA and MFBA'S director of government relations.

"We feel that the need for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan to cover these individuals is critical."

"MBPA/MFBA are in full support of legislation that provides individuals and their families with fair pricing, and the guarantee and protection of obtaining coverage. Plus, protection from rate hikes, and ensures a safety net in the market to minimize the uninsured," Deeb stated.

Deeb says he looks forward to working with the Senate as these bills move through the process.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

BONNIE BOCHNIAK 517-374-9128 OFFICE

517-203-9851 CELL

OR

JENNIFER KLUGE 586-393-8800 OFFICE

586-202-1441 AFTER 6 P.M.


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SOURCE The Michigan Business and Professional Association
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