Obamacare Case Study: Bracing for Higher Health Care Bills
Kavaliro Staffing / Orlando
Managing partner: Bill Peppler
2012 revenue: $20 million
Benefits cost in 2012: An average of $1,800 per insured employee
Estimated costs in 2014: Unknown, though the company expects premiums to increase
This technical staffing firm is on "a rocket path of growth," says managing partner Bill Peppler, with both revenue and payroll soaring. (The company made the Inc. 5000 in 2011 and 2012; it also appeared on Inc.'s 2012 Hire Power list as a top job creator in its industry.) In December, the company opened an office in Tampa, and in January it acquired a Washington, D.C.-area staffing firm, taking on about 60 employees.
"Offering health benefits is an important recruiting and retention tool in a competitive industry," says Peppler. About 100 employees get coverage through the company. Kavaliro offers three tiers of coverage through United Health, with project-based consultants eligible for a less-robust package than full-timers. The average premium for individual coverage is $368 a month; Kavaliro pays an average of $150 of that, or about 40 percent.
"Our intention is to comply with whatever legislation comes down the pipe," says Peppler. To do so, it appears that Kavaliro's benefits plan will need some tweaking--notably, increasing the percentage of employee premium costs it is paying in order to meet the ACA's minimum value requirements (see "An Obamacare Glossary"). The law will also force Kavaliro--which relies heavily on contract employees who work remotely--to be extravigilant about monitoring contractors' hours, in order to avoid penalties for improperly counting workers. Premium costs are the great unknown. They went up about 7 percent in 2012. "We haven't been given guidance on what to expect," says Peppler. "We may need to tighten our belts strategically. Our focus is to keep up with growth and avoid issuing new costs to our clients."