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Press Release Archive (2016)

Lowell General Hospital: A Resource for Small Businesses

Massachusetts Hospital Association and Lowell General Hospital join forces to host
Business Breakfasts on the Details of the New Health Care Reform Law

Lowell, MA - Lowell General Hospital wants to help local businesses navigate
the new health reform law. That's why Lowell General and the Massachusetts Hospital
Association are hosting a business breakfast on Thursday, April 12 at Lowell General
Hospital's Clark Auditorium. Lowell General's president and CEO Normand E. Deschene will
be speaking about the requirements of the law and the different affordable health plan options that will be available.

The new health reform law is an opportunity of a generation and our responsibility is to
help our local business owners understand the intricacies of the law and how it will
affect them," said Deschene. "Choosing the right options in offering affordable health care helps businesses recruit and retain employees, and benefits the health of our community as a whole. We're proud to do our part in helping to make Massachusetts a nationwide model for access to quality health care."

The Health Care Reform Law was signed a year ago -- April 2006, and is designed to provide health insurance for residents who have struggled to pay for health care or have gone uninsured by making health insurance easier and more affordable. Starting July 1, 2007, any business that employs more than 10 people will be responsible for offering a health plan option to employees, including a Section 125 plan that allows employees to pay for health coverage on a pre-tax basis. The plan is not subject to state or federal income taxes, which benefits employers that have lower payroll-related taxes.

"The Health Care Reform Law is based on the idea of shared responsibility, so that the burden does not fall on any one group," said MHA Interim Chief Executive Robert Gibbons.

Gibbons added that "We know that the vast majority of employers want to do the right thing but don't necessarily know what that is under the new law. Therefore we at MHA and our member hospitals want to help Merrimack Valley business owners understand the legislation, so that they can make informed business decisions that serve their employees, their businesses and the Commonwealth. This legislation marks a major step in ensuring every Commonwealth resident has health insurance, but we know how big a job it is. At MHA, we're trying to fulfill our part of the shared responsibility by using education to smooth the transition to universal health care."

Before the Health Care Reform Law was introduced, 500,000 Massachusetts residents were uninsured, but since then, 100,000 Massachusetts residents have already enrolled in the new plans.

Other organizations offering informational resources include the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) and the Insurance Partnership.

For more information on enrollment, please visit the following Web sites:

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