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The small company's dilemma

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  • | 7:44 a.m. February 8, 2013
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Company: Mercury New Media

Executive: Christopher Karlo

Industry: Software development

Number of Employees: 12

Health Insurance Challenge: Even though Tampa software developer Mercury New Media has just 12 employees, partner Christopher Karlo is warily watching the new health care rules. Karlo says his company already provides insurance for its employees, but he estimates that health insurance premiums will rise by about 20% this year because of new requirements.

Already, the company's health premiums total $50,000, he says. It is difficult to plan ahead and select new coverage because it appears that the federal regulations have not yet been finalized, says Karlo. He plans to wait until the renewal period late in the year to update his employee coverage.“It's kind of hard to rush out and try to lock down exactly what you want your plans to be at this point, and then eight or nine months from now have to re-evaluate because plans have changed,” he says.

Complicating the firm's dilemma is the difficulty of reaching a consensus on an affordable plan that meets all the employees' needs. “Different team members have different preferences when it comes to insurance. Some want a high-deductible, catastrophic-type coverage plan, and some want something where they're completely buttoned up and have a Cadillac package,” Karlo says.

He works with an insurance consultant to try to find affordable coverage, but even with a consultant, it's not easy. “It's a challenge for smaller groups like ours to get competitive rates,” he says.

He fears there may be expensive surprises in store as the premium renewal date approaches. “I worry about that.”


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