Innovative Small Businesses Receive National Award for Outstanding Employee Health Program

2022 Health Plan Hero award recognizes businesses with high-value, low-cost health insurance plans for employees.

WASHINGTON, DC — Six small businesses from across the country are among the first companies ever to receive a national award for their innovative, outstanding employer-sponsored health program. The companies received the 2022 Health Plan Hero award in a ceremony held in the Washington, D.C. area.

John Soules Foods (Tyler, TX), Kenny Pipe and Supply (Nashville, TN), Matheny Motors (Parkersburg, WV), Schaefer Autobody (St. Louis, MO), Shine Solar (Rogers, AK), Woodard Cleaning and Restoration (St. Louis, MO) were recognized today by national healthcare industry professionals and participated in a discussion lab session with other leaders from the healthcare industry, including human resource representatives, patient advocates, and healthcare policy and benefit design experts.

The Health Plan Hero program, developed by the national non-profit organization Patients Rising, recognizes companies with health plans that expand access to care while lowering costs for patients. The award program was launched in response to nationwide increases in health coverage premiums and deductibles. Family premiums have increased by an average of 22% from 2015 to 2020, and deductibles for single-covered workers rose by 25% during that same time period. 

Schaefer Autobody was recognized for its health plan that created a custom-built network of direct contracts with the local hospital systems, which resulted in no cost-sharing for care done in-network, and has saved the company almost one million dollars in its first year. 

Another company, Woodard Cleaning and Restoration, reduced employee deductibles from $5,000 to zero for most services in-network, and the company saved close to $250,000. 

“I hear from patients regularly who have outrageously high premiums and a deductible that’s impossible to meet. To top it off, the coverage they get from these plans is minimal,” said Terry Wilcox, co-founder and executive director of Patients Rising. “Employer-sponsored insurance used to be the gold standard for Americans. The companies honored today are leading the way to provide top-notch coverage to their employees, and proving that it is possible to provide insurance that protects the pocketbook of both the employer and employees.”

Recipients of the Health Plan Hero award demonstrate a health plan that expands patient access to care, lowers out-of-pocket costs, lowers employer spending, and is competitive due to increased workforce health, productivity, and savings. 

More details on the winning employer-sponsored health plans and the businesses are available.

You’ll receive updates about new resources, patient stories and insights, advocacy work, and alerts about patient-support events.

The latest about patient advocacy

Join our Email List

Get notified about new stories and resources to empower patients and caregivers.