Restaurants fear new reform mandates will jeopardize their ability to offer affordable health insurance to part-time and full-time hourly workers.

An industry organization says new legislation requirements for annual plan limits and overhead expense restrictions threaten limited medical plans – lower-cost alternatives to major medical insurance – and that thousands could lose access to health coverage entirely.

A September survey from The Chain Restaurant Compensation Association and consulting firm Hay Group found nearly 70 percent of chain restaurant employers indicate that hourly employees are currently eligible for limited medical plans and less than 25 percent contribute toward plan costs.

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