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|Articles - November 2010|
|Thursday, October 21, 2010|
Page 3 of 4Absorbing the increases
Alan Mills, chief executive officer of the Beaverton architectural software firm Axium, sees health care reform from two different viewpoints.
“If I look at it from the company’s perspective, it’s an added cost that gives us zero benefit,” he says. “But as a business person and from the community and the U.S. standpoint, I can certainly see the benefit of having more people covered.”
Axium currently provides its 60 employees with 100% coverage through Providence Health Plans. The company also covers 45% of the cost of family members, and it contributes $75 a month into Health Reimbursement Accounts for employees to help with deductibles and co-pays.
Mills says Axium has faced sharp increases in health care costs over the past few years but has taken some steps to help minimize or at least control them. A large bump four years ago led Axium to up its plan deductible, and when another 12% increase loomed for July 2009, the company tweaked co-pays, prescription coverage and out-of-network services payments. The result: an increase of just 3.5%.
This year, however, the company was hit with an increase of nearly 21%. But rather than try to wring out even more savings, Axium absorbed the increase — about the cost of one full-time employee, Mills says — and even upped the family coverage from 35% to 45%.
Mills says federal reform probably won’t impact how the company provides insurance to employees. However, higher personal income taxes that will pay for some of the new reforms might have a more tangible effect.
“Some of those changes to personal income taxes are going to push up for business owners,” he says, “and anytime you take dollars out of any type of business, it’s going to impact the number of employees you have on staff.”
Under federal reform, businesses with 50 employees or more that don’t offer insurance face a per-employee penalty of $2,000 or more. While that may sound steep — and may send many more people to the insurance exchanges with federal subsidies — it may be a more affordable option for some employers.
“We wouldn’t foresee going that route unless the care was much better than we currently offer,” Mills says. “Whatever the case, if [reform] ends up costing us a lot more money, then we’re going to have to look at our entire cost structure.”
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.
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