The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 6, 2001 · Page 34
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 34

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, May 6, 2001
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Page 34
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E2 SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2001 MONEY THE SAUNA JOURNAL T BUSINESS EXPENSES Insurance squeeze Small businesses face rising health Insurance costs BUILDING PERMITS By JAMES HANNAH 77a' Associaleel Press DAYTON, Ohio — Theodore Ross, whose Fi-e-Flo Distribution company cleans and stores auto parts containers, has cut back the shai'e of health insurance he pays for his employees. Daniel Feldkamp and Randy Sowash work 14-hour days at their year-old photography studio because paying for employee health insurance would be too expensive. These Dayton-area companies are among the small businesses across the country that are feeling the effect of rising health insurance costs in a slowing economy. Businesses are being forced to reduce coverage, shift more of the insurance costs to employees, or drop health benefits altogether, officials say. "This year is particularly bad for small businesses," said Kate Sullivan, director of health-bare policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Based on complaints she hears and reports she sees, Sullivan figures the insurance premium increases average 18 percent to 22 percent. Janet Trautwein, director of policy analysis for the National Association of Health Underwriters, said some businesses are reporting premium hikes of as much as 60 percent. "It's going up dramatically," Trautwein said. "Business owners are worried." Inflation drives up prenfiiums Inflation in the health-care industry, particularly in prescription drugs, is driving up premiums, and there is growing urgency for health maintenance organizations to show a profit, said Michael Sparer, associate professor of health policy at Columbia University "As managed care was trying to wend its way into the mainstream of the American healthcare system, they had real pressures on them to keep costs down, and I think at times they artificially kept prices down," Sparer said. "Now, they are trying to recoup them." Fre-Flo Distribution, which employs about 60 workers, used to pay 75 percent of their insur- Salina Commercial — 114 S. Seventh, Achterberg, Neustrom and Montoy Building Partnership, interior remodeling, $2,000. 2326B Planet, CD. Deerman, interior finish, $10,000. 1408 Prospect, Mark Frazier, construct storage, $15,000. 2041 S. Ohio, Herb Monroe, construct stock room addition, $75,790. 305 W Schilling, Dillon Real Estate, construct car wash, $160,000. 305 W. Schilling, Dillon Real Estate, construct convenience store, $740,000. Garage — 1617 Beach, Ray Dreher, $5,000. Residential and miscellaneous — 408 E. Claflin, Cecil Light, install patio cover over front porch, $400. 817 Fairdale, Brad Botz, construct covered patio, $480. 604 E. Leslie, Chuck and Melissa Chindamo, construct deck, $970. 2625 Plantation, Gary Henderson, add front porch, $3,000. 337 N. Penn, Roger Weber, interior remodeling, $4,000. 401 Pine Ridge, John and Kathryn Weckel, construct screened gazebo, $5,050. 822 Carriage Circle, Terry and Melanie McDaniel, garage remodeling, $5,075. 1409 Lorianna, Carroll and Megan Long, storage addition, $6,000. 509 W. Republic, Shirley Jacques, bathroom remodeling, $6,550. 808 Greenbriar, James and Ruth McDaniel, add second floor to garage, $6,750. 810 Greenbriar, Michael and Joy Roberts, add second floor to garage, $6,800. 1325 E. Wayne, Raymond Lowen, add master bathroom suite, $16,000. 1030 Dover Circle, Randal Clark, interior and exterior remodeling, $25,000. 2507 Blakemore, Mary PERSONALS Abrams, finish basement, $27,000. 133 Georgia, Gary McCausland, repair fire damage, $27,500. Single-family housing — 2510 Blakemore, Nancy Louise Evans, $90,000. 403 E. Antrim, Francine Woerner, $90,000. 2267 Redhawk, Daryl Bixby Construction Co.. $165,000. 1518 Eaglecrest, Houghton Custom Homes, $165,000. Saline County Commercial — 706 E. Salemsborg, Stress Cast, construct office, $32,000. 697 E. Mentor Road, Saline County Fire Station, $350,000. Residential and miscellaneous — 1975 N. Halstead, David Higgins, construct garden/storage shed, $1,200. 3216 E. North, Jim Roesner, construct hay shed, $3,500. 3216 E. North, Jim Roesner, construct pole barn, $7,500. V /. {•- The Associated Press Dan Feldkamp (left) and Randy Sowash, owners of Visual Edge Imaging Studios in Dayton, Ohio, cannot expand their business because of the rising cost of health insurance. ance premiums, but that figure is now down to 50 percent. "We offer to pay half of an employee's health care, but (the premium) is so high that they choose to do without," Ross said. "Half of them dropped it altogether." Feldkamp and Sowash left their jobs at a Mansfield, Ohio, advertising agency about a year ago to open Visual Edge Imaging Studios, a photography and graphic arts studio in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek. They're making a profit, but the dream of building their own business is becoming a nightmare, as they spend nearly all of their waking hours at work. "We'd love to have extra help here," Feldkamp said, "And we can't." Sowash pays $160 a month for his insurance out of his own pocket, while Feldkamp is covered by the company that employs his wife. Hiring new employees and paying for their health insurance benefits is not currently an option. "These are things we'd like to offer our employees when they step in," Sowash said. Trautwein said if the economy continues to worsen, health-care coverage will become a fatter target for cost- conscious businesses. "Some will say, 'I have no choice,' " she said. "I'm sure there are some that have dropped coverage. It might become more of a trend." < Kennedy and Coe LLC, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, 119 W. Iron, announced the hiring of two new staff members. • Stacie Cronister is a sales representative for Wichita and the surrounding areas. She has a degree in marketing and management from Newman University She will be located in the Wichita office. • Wayne Sanders is a sales representative for Topeka and the surrounding areas. He has four years of sales and marketing experience and wiU be located in the Topeka office. •••• Karol Arnold has joined the staff of The Hair Suite in Mid- State Plaza. Arnold, who had worked at Regis Hairstylists, has 12 years of experience in hairstyling and sculptured nails. Her hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 WEBER KOEHN DAVIS a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 452-9044. •••• Rick Weber, associate broker with Millwood Realty, 1101 S. Ohio, recently became a partner in the firm. Weber, who has' been licensed since 1984 and a broker for 12 years, is the current president of the Salina Multi-Listing Service. •••• Gary Koehn has been named the director of materials management at Salina Regional Health Center. Koehn had worked at Consorta, a group purchasing organization, the past three years. He also had worked in materials management at Mercy Health Systems, Fort Scott, and Via Christi and St. Joseph Hospital, Wichita. •••• Jamy Davis recently started work as a massage therapist at Total Beauty, 2144 Planet. Davis is a Salina Central High School graduate and a recent graduate of the Florida College of Natural Health in Miami. Davis offers upper- and full-body massages. 825-6000. Airfares from Salina Destination Price Destination Price BRIEFLY $297 Miami 381 Nashville 389 NewYorl< Philadelphia 341 315 Tampa Soukup is assistant police chief at Abilene ABILENE — Pat Soukup has been named assistant chief of the Abilene Police Department effective today. Soukup has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience and retired as a lieutenant with the Salina Police Department in 1999. He has extensive experience in evidence collection, crime scene management and evidence processing. Soukup started working for the Abilene department Jan. 3, 2000. His salary as assistant chief will be $36,000 a year. Albuquerque Boise Portland Reno Salt Lal<6 City San Diego: All fares are the cheapest rour\d-trip prices from Salina l^ur)icipal Airport as of the previous Thursday. Various re strictions apply. $278 297 224 282 364 Washington, D.C.204 From Staff Reports Source: Action TVavel Journal Graptilc Salina Journal Newspaper In Education Vacation Donation! Donate your newspaper to your local schools while you are away from home! Tell your Salina Journal representative that you want your vacation donation to go to newspaper in education! Call 800-823-6363 or 823-6363 THANKYOU To These People For Donating To Newspaper In Education! Ross Stevens - Ellsworth Mindy Buster - Salina Marietta Gotti - Salina Margaret Giles - Salina Dale McCain - Kensington Harry Smith - Salina Wendel Gugler - Abilene Jean Hayes - Salina Darell McGinnis - Hays Lloyd Swart - Oakley Earl Crough - Salina Ora Wilson - Salina Ken Pitts - Salina Kathy Balderston - Salina Leonard Cochran - Oberlin Paige Vorarath - Salina Jim Livengood - Goodland the Raymon Raile - St Francis E J Ostmeyer - Colby Elizabeth Naylor - Salina Joyce Kern - Herington David Payne - Salina Harold Miller - Salina Keith Jackson - Concordia Landis Perm - Lindsborg Bonnie Lake - Salina Peggy Frahm - Colby Dorothy Gabel - Salina Ed Billinger - Salina Donald Miller - Herington Debi Skelton - Salina Jan Selm - Salina Salina Journal Connecting classrooms with a world of information

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