Kerry Tully has run Bevo Vino, a wine shop and bar in New Orleans, for 11 years. She and her business partner both had individual health insurance policies, as did the business's one full-time employee. (The shop also has three part-time employees.)

Rising premiums had them looking at group coverage options. Here’s how they approached the process and how their decision benefitted the company and its bottom line.

The Challenge: Rising costs and a tedious process

Though Tully and her partner had been with the same insurer for about a decade, the cost of both of their individual policies had been climbing. “The premiums were increasing dramatically, anywhere from 25 to 40%,” Tully says.

This was particularly frustrating because both Tully and her partner were healthy, using insurance mostly for annual checkups. “We were unhappy with what we were paying,” she states simply.

Tully started looking into group policies that would cover both business partners and their full-time worker, but describes the experience as “an arduous, tedious, stressful process.” “It's really hard to understand all the lingo and what you're getting and what you're not getting.”

The Approach: Looking beyond premiums

Tully's experience improved when she reached Humana. “Humana's rep was super helpful,” she says. “She called me back and sent me information, where I felt like the other companies didn't follow up.”

She was impressed by Humana's Simplicity plans, which offer a straightforward co-payment structure with no in-network deductible. “You see what you're getting pretty clearly, and I liked the idea of no deductible,” Tully says. “Previously, our deductible was the same amount as our out-of-pocket maximum, so it really wasn't helping us.”

She also liked Humana's Go365 program, which rewards members for completing healthy activities, such as getting dental exams and flu shots. “They're offering incentives for people who do healthy things,” Tully says. “I like that. That was a good selling point.”

Tully didn't pull the trigger on group insurance then, but she filed the information away for the future.

The Solution: A plan with a positive impact

Humana called Tully back a few months later. “They said, 'You looked at us last year for group insurance, are you still interested?'” she recalls. Tully was willing to give it another look, so Humana connected her with the same rep she'd spoken with previously.

“The pricing was really attractive for the three of us,” Tully says. “We thought, 'Wow, we can save some money.' And we could also kick in and help pay some of our employee's premium, which was a nice thing to do for her.”

She was also swayed by the fact that Humana contacted her again. “It was really good customer service,” Tully says. “Humana reached out to me when I was just so discouraged with the whole process of shopping for insurance.”

In the end, Tully chose the Simplicity group plan, and she's thrilled with the decision. The cost for a group policy for the three full-time employees is only slightly more than what they were paying for two individual policies, enabling Tully and her partner to pay half of their full-timer's premium as a perk to her.

“We're saving a lot,” Tully says. “That's a big deal for us. For a small business that operates on a very small margin, every dollar counts.”

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