Rick Pearce, president of the Riverside Health System offered this viewpoint from the nonprofit health care organization:
"We have developed a voluntary, market-based solution that does not cost the Commonwealth anything. The idea is to make available to those employees of small businesses earning less than the federal poverty level the same benefits as those who are fortunate to have health insurance," Pearce said.
"There are huge gaps with access to health care provided to different people, and the uninsured are often forgotten. We should be trying different approaches. I think it's very clear there are problems with what we're doing today and that there are opportunities to evaluate other solutions. I think the status quo is becoming less acceptable to more and more people," Pearce said.
Pearce added the hope that this project will demonstrate to the state that they should partner with businesses in the future to expand this program.
In an effort to develop unique solutions, the Riverside Health System Foundation will provide $1 million over two years to the program to be called Riverside Share. Funding was set based on the Foundation paying 1/3 of the monthly premium for an average Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield HMO contract. Anthem will partner with Riverside to provide the insurance plans for Riverside Share participants.
Eligible companies include businesses with 2-50 employees in the Riverside service area, which includes the cities of, Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Suffolk, Tappahannock, Smithfield, West Point, Williamsburg, Yorktown and portions of Chesapeake and Suffolk, along with the counties of Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northumberland, Richmond and Surry.
Eligible businesses must not have offered health insurance to e
|SOURCE Riverside Health System|
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved