A Gift Of Health

Iowa offers newbies an insurance break

Entrepreneurs who don't buy health insurance are taking a gamble. But some in Iowa no longer have to worry. The Helping Entrepreneurs Launch Program at North Central Iowa (HELP@NCI) will reimburse entrepreneurs who have recently started companies in the region up to $350 a month for health insurance.

The effort aims to encourage people to start companies in the area. "We love having a big business relocate here," says Jamie Zanios, director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at North Iowa Area Community College, which worked with officials from seven counties to develop and administer the program. "But the real businesses that support our communities are the businesses that grew up here." The alliance got a $50,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Economic Development and $15,000 from the counties, local utilities, and chambers of commerce to start. They say that's enough to help a dozen entrepreneurs sleep better.

By Amy Barrett

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