Although the Obama health-care-reform bill did much to address the plight of some 46 million uninsured Americans, it did very little to address the skyrocketing cost increases that are crippling businesses large and small. Many companies are opting to drop health coverage altogether, choosing to pay any fines for doing so rather than face the hyperinflation related to this major expense. With its health-care costs threatening to take down the company in 2003, Serigraph, Inc., a Wisconsin manufacturer, took innovative steps to curtail the costs. By giving their employees a stake in the financial outcome of health care, they cut their costs drastically. Torinus, president of the company, outlines steps that any business can take to achieve similar results, which involve a major shift in behavior on the part of the insured employees. Unfortunately, this requires a plan with a very high deductible and co-pay, giving the insured motivation for staying healthy and not abusing the system. Although this is not a the single idea that will fix the health-care crisis, this approach has great potential for medium-size to small businesses grappling with this problem. --David Siegfried
About the Author
Chairman and general manager of Serigraph Inc., John Torinus Jr. has studied and practiced management for more than 50 years. His company had $40 million in sales annually when he bought it in 1987; it now generates $120 million and has more than 1,000 employees in plants in the United States, Mexico, China and India. Torinus graduated magna cum laude from Yale and was a company commander in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Torinus has served as business editor and columnist at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.