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Chambers Rally Behind Small Business
 
HudsonCounty-business-NewJersey-NJ
 

The Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with a consortium of Bergen-Passaic chambers to change the law so that small businesses with 1-50 employees could purchase group health insurance through their Chamber of Commerce.

The primary sponsor for this legislative amendment (Bill Number S-2874) is Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-District 39, Bergen), ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee.

“In these tough economic times, it’s critical that government work with business to make health care more affordable,” said Cardinale.

Since introducing the bill on May 12, 2011, the Senator has garnered support from the bill’s Democratic co-sponsors: Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-District 37, Bergen), and Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-District 22, Middlesex/Morris/Union).

The group’s chairman, John DePalma, MPH, Regional Director of UHY Employee Benefits Consulting Services and member of the Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce, says health benefits purchasing alliances like this are common in other states: “With health care reform becoming effective in 2014, it is about time that the State of NJ allows companies with one employee to be eligible to participate in the small group offerings. Currently, these offerings require two employees or more. This is particularly important in our current environment where health care costs keep increasing at an alarming level, and it is important to note that the surrounding states already allow companies, such as this, to join their small employer programs.”

The effort to change the law was begun over a year ago by Dr. Annette Freund, immediate past president of the Mahwah Regional Chamber of Commerce. This month, over 200 more chambers are being invited to join in a statewide letter-writing campaign.

“We need to explain to our legislators and the governor that a vote for this bill is a vote for small business,” said Freund, “especially the startups, the sole proprietors, and the entrepreneurs with only one employee. Saving money on group health insurance could free up capital for hiring new employees, support the economic recovery, and encourage over half a million individual proprietorships to stay in New Jersey.”

For more information or to join the letter-writing campaign, go to www.mahwah.com or call the Chamber office at 201-529-5566.