Health Insurance

By: Susan Bahorich
By: Susan Bahorich

"It's tough, it's tough to make ends meet."

Like a lot of folks it's sometimes hard for Valerie Holmes to stretch her money. But for Holmes it's a little different, she's the owner of Harrisonburg Nautilus Fitness Center.

"When your insurance costs is the third largest- you have it definitely cuts into what you can purchase, what other things you can do for your employees- what you can do for your numbers here as a fitness facility- it all goes into the bottom line," says Valerie Holmes, owner Nautilus Fitness Center.

And, that bottom line suffers when costs increase. According to a recent report, insurance premiums for businesses are going up as much as 14% this year. For small businesses it's twice as much. But, this isn't anything new- costs have been on the rise for the last several years.

Dain Hammond of Hammond Insurance says it's not surprising.

"The cost of health insurance is rising at a more rapid rate than inflation- health insurance cost traditionally rising 15-18 percent a year. Thus, insurance premiums directly reflect that," says Hammond.

And don't expect changes anytime soon.

Hammond explains, "Until government steps in and changes things there's no way an insurance agency can keep up with the rising costs of doctors, pharmacies and hospitals- until those costs stop rising I don't see relief for insurance premiums."

That may leave some small businesses racing to catch up.


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