Insurance Policy on the Menu Now Waiters Can Order Health Care Coverage

Article excerpt

Robert Gancitano has always been proud to be a career waiter. But when his 16-year-old daughter had a seizure last year, he ashamedly accepted state aid to pay for her hospitalization.

"When you have to go through the state to take care of your child, it's embarrassing," said Gancitano, 45. "I'm not unemployed. This is a profession to me."

Like many other restaurants, the privately owned Skyline Restaurant in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., where Gancitano has worked for the past 2 1/2 years, does not offer health insurance to its waiters.

But the Waiters Association based in State College, Pa., is hoping to fill the health insurance void in the industry. The association is offering its members, who now number 1,700, a discounted insurance plan through Mutual of Omaha.

The plan is particularly attractive to single parents like Gancitano, the captain of waiters at Skyline, who can't afford health insurance without a group rate or a contribution from their employers. …