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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.”
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Training, from the mundane to the sublime, bolsters companies and workers in an uncertain world.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
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Yesterday, a divided National Labor Relations Board dropped another hammer on the employer community. In a long-awaited and much debated move, the Board jettisoned the decades old standard for determining when two independent businesses should be considered joint employers of an individual worker for collective bargaining purposes.
Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
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.