Pub Owner Frustrated That Health Plan Prices Keep Jumping

Paul Siperke, co-owner of Cleveland brewery Fat Head's, plans to keep providing health insurance to his employees. But he's irked by the continual price fluctuations in the group's policy — this year caused partly by the Affordable Care Act.

hide captionPaul Siperke, co-owner of Cleveland brewery Fat Head’s, plans to keep providing health insurance to his employees. But he’s irked by the continual price fluctuations in the group’s policy — this year caused partly by the Affordable Care Act.


Milan Jovanovic /WCPN

Paul Siperke is the co-owner of Fat Head’s Brewery Saloon, a popular brewpub in Cleveland. He has fewer than 50 full-time employees, so he’s classified under the Affordable Care Act as a small business. He doesn’t have to provide health insurance to his employees, but that’s what he’s been doing since the bar opened in 2009, despite some pretty dramatic volatility in rates.

“They just seemed to keep going up every year,” he says. “One year we got a 38 percent increase; another year we got 11. One year we got 3.”

This year, under the Affordable Care Act, he saw another hike — this one about 20 percent.

“It just seems odd that we get such a drastic price increase when nothing has really changed with us as far as our employees and health issues,” he says.

Most of the workers at Fat Head’s are in their 20s and 30s. They are healthy, enthusiastic about their jobs and grateful for health coverage.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/05/13/310958425/pub-owner-frustrated-that-health-plan-prices-keep-jumping?ft=1&f=131849999

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