Ask Cooper to approve association health plans

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This week, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 86, the Small Business Health Care Act, which will help smaller businesses, sole proprietors and their families have access to lower-cost health care options by letting small businesses band together to form what’s known as an association health plan.

The bill has now moved on to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk for his signature, there’s a real chance he might not sign it! Please join me in letting Governor Cooper know why it is important to have a lower-cost health care option for your company, your employees and your families by calling and emailing his office.

I have written and sent the following letter to Governor Cooper:

I am writing today to ask you to support SB 86, Small Business Health Care Act.

I have owned a very small business in Wilson for 30 years. I have provided health care insurance most of those years to my small group of employees — fewer than 10 — and every year it is a struggle. Not only is it almost cost-prohibitive with each passing year, but the process of reviewing so many different plans before finally deciding on which one is the lesser of the evils is gut-wrenching. I now am only able to pay 50% of the cost, with my employees being responsible for the balance each month. Additionally, our deductibles and co-insurance have risen steadily.

You can imagine in the 30 years I’ve been in business, I have seen and suffered through many changes to the health care insurance debacle. Years ago, we were able to be a part of a group plan as members of a national PEO that was self-funded, but the PEO also had to stop providing that coverage as it eventually became cost-prohibitive for them as well. Being able to be a part of that group plan was very affordable, had a reasonable deductible and provided wonderful coverage for my employees.

I’m not sure if SB 86 will be the permanent solution, but it surely seems like a step in the right direction for very small businesses like mine.

Thank you for your serious consideration to support SB 86.

Melanie B. Womble


The writer is president of Professional Drug Screening Services.