Brakebush Bros. Wins Employer Excellence Award

Honored for its self-funded benefits program
Photograph courtesy of Brakebush Bros.

WESTFIELD, Wis. — Healthcare nonprofit The Alliance has awarded convenience-store foodservice supplier Brakebush Bros. Inc. with its 2019 Employer/Purchaser Excellence Award.

Brakebush received the honor for demonstrating leadership and innovation in advancing overall health and healthcare value through its benefit programs, employee engagement and support of coalition efforts, the companies said.

“The award shows that employers of all sizes, and any location, can make a positive impact in their fight against the rising costs of healthcare without government intervention, or the need to pass those costs on to its employees,” said Dan Ludwig, director of benefits and safety for Brakebush. “It is an honor to receive recognition for doing something that we felt was just the right thing to do to provide benefits that our employees need.”

Brakebush received the award alongside The Walt Disney Co.

“We nominated Brakebush for this award because they are a true innovator in providing the best health benefits possible for employees across all of their locations,” said Melina Kambitsi, senior vice president of business development and strategic marketing for The Alliance. “We are thrilled that they are being recognized, alongside major employers in the country, for having the courage to think outside of the box and do what’s right for the company and the health of their employees.”

In 2014, Brakebush organized a self-funded health benefits plan, meaning they took on the role of the insurance company and accepted the risk, designed the benefits and network, collected premiums, paid claims and administered the plan. The benefits include an onsite health center with free primary and acute-care service to all employees, their spouses and dependents; and a Centers of Excellence program to direct patients to healthcare resources when deemed medically appropriate. Brakebush’s per-member health benefit costs were lower in 2018 than in 2014 due to the plan, the company said.

“We’re currently in the process of developing the next phase,” Ludwig said. “We’ve had an incredible amount of success over the years and we know that there is even more opportunity to drive down healthcare cost and shed the status quo of traditional healthcare and benefits.”

The Alliance, based in Hartford, Conn., represents more than 250 self-funded employers and multiemployer plans in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. The company works with more than 130 hospitals, 11,000 medical doctors, 4,700 medical clinics, 23,000 professional service providers, 500 chiropractic clinic sites, 800 mental health clinic sites and 300 home health/durable medical equipment agency locations.

Founded in 1925, Brakebush is a U.S. family-owned and -operated company based in Westfield, Wis. It offers various chicken products, programs, promotions and culinary support to help retailers grow their foodservice programs. Its chicken portfolio includes wings, thighs, tenderloins, fillets, sliders, chicken burgers, popcorn chicken, cutlets, strips, nuggets and patties, among other products.

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