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Small Companies Working to Make Health Pay (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

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Times are about to change for small businesses and their workers. In 2014, the Affordable Care Act will require them to provide insurance or give their workers money to buy it themselves on state-run exchanges. Several small employers are doing this already, however — and reaping the rewards. Sartell Group, a software developer based in Minneapolis, Minn., pays 100 percent of the medical and dental costs of all 20 employees, and provides a kitchen stocked full of healthy breakfast and lunch supplies. Another small software developer, Bromelkamp Co. has been providing fully paid insurance with no copays or deductibles for 33 years. Owner Henry Bromelkamp Co. also funds the maximum amount allowed in a Simplified Employee Pension Plan account, and pays for child care. The benefits are big for both employees and employers, he says. “I don’t know why every company doesn’t do this. It’s not like health care is a luxury. You can’t say to an employee ‘we can’t afford health care anymore.’ Somebody’s going to pay for it. And it might as well be in pretax dollars.”