On November 1, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DiSCUS) took a big step towards remedying a major ailment in the craft spirits business: healthcare. The trade organization began offering member distilleries access to a dedicated healthcare plan.
“America’s craft distillers are critical to the vitality of the spirits industry in this country. And those small businesses — and the men and women they employ — deserve good health care and the feeling of security it provides,” DISCUS President and CEO Chris Swonger said. “That’s why DISCUS has leveraged its relationship with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to provide quality health care options at affordable rates to the fastest-growing segment of our membership – craft distillers.”
Despite DiSCUS’ high profile big brand members (like all of them—Diageo, Bacardi, Beam, etceteras,) this plan is clearly targeted at the craft realm. Specifically, only distilleries with 2-99 employees can enroll.
The plan, itself, is called NAM Health Care and is a manufacturing targeted policy insured by UnitedHealthcare. The fine print features PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and HSA (Health Savings Account) options. In addition, UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus network (1.3 million physicians and care professionals, 6,000 hospitals) is also available.
Alas, this is healthcare; so, nothing is simple. The numerous bureaucratic rules & regulations in the American system mean that the United plan is not available in all states. For members within the exclusion zone, a second option is available.
DiSCUS also pledged to work with craft distillers in these states to help find small group options. Likely, much of this responsibility will fall to Mercer, DiSCUS’s partner agent in the endeavor. The agent’s Mercer Affinity 365+ platform will facilitate quotes and enrollments for participants.
For more info, visit DISCUS.NAMHealthCare.com/join or call 855-463-8856 for more information.