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Health insurance rates have risen, but large firms have escaped the worst hikes.
Hefty health insurance rate hikes are beginning to slam many local small and mid-sized businesses.
Ironically, say area insurance brokers, the hikes are due at least in part to a new federal law aimed at improving insurance availability.
Take Maxwell Co., an 35-employee Evendale tracking company, for example. It will see its rates jump 15 percent in December. Meanwhile, most of Cincinnati's largest corporations are seeing rate increases of less than 10 percent.
"It's going to cost us a significant amount of money," said Jerome Linneman, president of Maxwell, which is insured through Medical Mutual, formerly Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio.
"I'm not sure what we're going to do," Linneman said. "We may have to reduce benefits."
Such stories are widespread, say local brokers, who are reporting that many small businesses - especially all those with less than 50 employees - are seeing premium …