SAS Institute plans to double its legal and consultant expenses in 2011, as the Cary software company tries to sort through changes coming under the federal health overhaul.
SAS is one of many companies dealing with the administrative headaches, and higher costs, brought by the reform law, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"There's administrative burden just to try and understand the 2,400 pages of the document," SAS vice president of human resources Jenn Mann told the newspaper. She declined to comment on how much SAS spends on health coverage or how much more it will pay in legal expenses.
SAS also is taking steps now to prepare for future changes under the overhaul law. For example, a tax starts in 2018 for employers with health plans whose costs exceed certain levels. If SAS doesn't adjust its plans, the tax will cost the company about $20 million, Mann said.
So the company is eliminating its higher-cost indemnity plan, is doubling copays to $20 from $10, and is considering passing on other costs to its employees.
SAS employs about 11,400 people worldwide, including more than 4,000 at its massive Cary headquarters campus. Revenue at the private company rose to $2.31 billion last year, and is expected to increase again this year.
The Wall Street Journal notes that a recent survey showed that 31 percent of executives are most concerned about the cost of compliance with the new law. Bookstore chain Borders Group has increased its health-care related consultant expenses about 20 percent to help it understand the law's implications.
Read the full Wall Street Journal story here.