Obamacare Prompts Firm To Consider Dropping Its Health Plan

Kathy Miller takes calls for orders in AmeriMark's order processing unit.i i

hide captionKathy Miller takes calls for orders in AmeriMark’s order processing unit.


Sarah Jane Tribble / WCPN

Kathy Miller takes calls for orders in AmeriMark's order processing unit.

Kathy Miller takes calls for orders in AmeriMark’s order processing unit.

Sarah Jane Tribble / WCPN

AmeriMark Direct founded its catalog business in Cleveland in the 1960s, and for decades, everyone assumed that health insurance came with the job.

These days, the 700-employee company doesn’t assume anything.

The traditional mail-order catalog company sells a broad selection of products — from magnetic “fashion bracelets” and patio dresses to sexual health aids and religious-themed blankets.

The business model depends on people like associate Kathy Miller, at the company’s call center, closing a sale without taking a breath: “You get a free gift today — it’s a pair of knee-highs — and your total includes the merchandise, postage and handling, and the replacement fee,” she says, “so it will come to $37.97, and I completed your order, so you’re all set.”

Rising health care costs could put a damper on Miller’s cheery tone, however. AmeriMark’s human resources director, Greg Lyons, says the Affordable Care Act is adding to the company’s costs. “It probably affects our premiums in the neighborhood of 8 percent,” he says.

Among the things that go into that

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/05/14/311861509/obamacare-fees-lead-firm-to-consider-dropping-its-group-health-plan?ft=1&f=131849999

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