Working together: Businesses with benefits

HEALTH COVERAGE: “When it comes to health insurance, there are just not a lot of options, and small businesses like us are not big enough company to negotiate affordable premiums,” says Cristina Hall Ackley, co-founder and president of Ginger's Revenge. Photo courtesy of Ginger's Revenge

Editor’s note: This short feature is one of several brief looks at local professional collaborations included in Xpress’ Business-to-Business Issue. 

Cristina Hall Ackley, co-founder and president of local Ginger’s Revenge, says a common challenge that new businesses face is finding affordable benefits packages for their employees. 

“When we started, we did a company health plan where we subsidized 70% and the employees paid 30%,” Ackley explains. “It was hard because they were high-deductible plans, and it was very ‘one-size-fits-all.’ With a small team like ours, it was difficult because they were still paying part of their premiums out of pocket and weren’t able to access a lot of health care.”

After a year, Ackley started looking into other options for the business and was eventually referred to Hummingbird Insurance, a local agency. Instead of offering a traditional benefits package, agents at Hummingbird spoke with employees to find the best insurance policies for their individual needs. Afterward, they provided the Ginger’s staff with recommendations for a wellness stipend so that employees could use the extra funds to pay for their policies.

“When it comes to health insurance, there are just not a lot of options, and small businesses like us are not big enough company to negotiate affordable premiums,” Ackley says. “To have a company like Hummingbird to work with our individual team members and guide them through the process is definitely very helpful.”


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About Chase Davis
Chase Davis is an Asheville-based reporter working for Mountain Xpress. He was born and raised in Georgia and holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from LaGrange College. Follow me @ChaseDavis0913

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