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|Articles - November 2010|
|Thursday, October 21, 2010|
Page 2 of 4Struggling with rising costs
A few more years of business-as-usual in the health care world could be bad news for John Clark and his Gresham rubber stamp company Stamp-Connection.
Four years after he started his business in 2001, Clark began offering his employees — he has 11 total, including himself — 100% paid medical, dental and life insurance. He also covers his family and those of three managers.
Double-digit price increases over the past three years, however, have begun to tighten the line. The health benefits now cost the company, which has annual revenues of about $1.25 million, roughly $90,000 a year. And Clark is expecting similar increases over the next few years, which is why he’s anxious for health care reform to kick in.
“Any change is good at this point because the status quo is just killing us,” he says, noting that offering handsome benefits has helped him attract loyal, long-term employees. “We can’t keep going at this rate.”
To help deal with the cost increases thus far, co-pays for Stamp-Connection employees have risen slightly. If the expenses continue to rise, Clark says he may have to ask employees to contribute toward their monthly premiums. He says he also is concerned that costs could shoot up precipitously on the way to 2014 as health providers scramble to generate as much revenue as possible before new regulations take effect.
Under the federal reform, small businesses like Stamp-Connection that offer health benefits may be eligible for additional tax credits. Clarks says he’s also looking forward to the new insurance exchange, which he says might offer lower prices or at least make current providers more competitive.
But a lot could happen between now and 2014, so Clark isn’t looking at any of the reforms as definite. Instead, he’ll continue offering his employees the best benefits he can, encourage wellness among his workers and keep his fingers crossed that whatever comes of health care reform will be good for business — and the country.
“The next three years are going to be very telling as to how we shake this out,” he says, “but as a society, we really do need to shake this out.”
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Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.