Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is offering a new, subsidized health insurance plan to small employers that currently lack health coverage.[@@]

Kansas City Blue, Kansas City, Mo., is trying to hold the cost of the plan to a minimum by donating at least $1 million in direct subsidies, waiving half of its usual administrative fees, hiring a local group to administer the plans and asking brokers who sell program to accept low commissions.

Kansas City Blue also is requiring plan members to accept deductibles of $1,500 or $5,000.

Kansas City Blue is offering the subsidized plan only to businesses with fewer than 100 employees. At least 75% of the employees must earn less than $30,000 a year, and 90% of the employees must live within Kansas City Blue’s service area.

Employers can offer the coverage to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. The income eligibility cut-off is $19,000 for single workers and $30,000 for families.