Metals Inc. intends to discontinue its health insurance policy
for all employees, the first known company in the metals
industry to do so.
The move means that
some 1,000 workers at the Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based metals
recycler and broker will need to enroll through the Affordable
Care Act (ACA) or seek insurance through an exchange.
officer Bob Brewer confirmed the decision, but declined to
comment on the matter. Employees at the company also declined
Because PSC Metals
employs more than 50 people, it could face a government penalty
of $2,000 per worker, which is less than the cost of most
insurance premiums. An Ohio Valley recycler said it costs
$7,200 annually to insure an individual and $20,000 per year to
insure a family.
A source close to PSC
Metals reported being told that many of the companys
workers might be eligible for government insurance subsidies
because of their income level.
No other metal
recyclers could be located that have made a similar decision to
terminate health care insurance.
Industry reaction to
the PSC decision has been mixed, ranging from disbelief to
concerns that other companies might follow suit.
"This is sending a
message that PSC does not care about its workers. The first
thing I did when I became successful was offer my employees
good health care," said the owner of a recycling yard that
services the Ohio Valley.
Some metal recycling
employees fear that it could have a ripple effect. "Times are
tough, and there are not a lot of jobs out there so they may be
forced to live with it. If their workers dont bail out,
then other companies could do the same," a source in
Birmingham, Ala., said. "It is cheaper to pay the penalty than
pay the premiums."
An Institute of Scrap
Recycling Industries spokesman did not return a call seeking