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The Wydown on 14th Street Serves Up Worker Health Insurance

by Tim Regan — January 22, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

Wydown Window, photo via Facebook / TheWydownEmployees at The Wydown (1924 14th St. NW) have something new on the menu: health insurance.

The coffee shop on Jan. 1 rolled out an insurance plan for employees who work 30 hours per week and have worked there at least two months. In the world of single-location coffee shops, offering insurance is somewhat of an oddity, said sibling co-owners Alex and Chad McCracken.

“I think it is somewhat rare for a coffee bar to offer insurance,” Alex said. “We’re lucky enough to have a good location and we’re pretty busy, so it works.”

Alex added that the insurance is “pretty good” compared to other small business insurance plans, with $15 co-pays, deductibles around $500 and 70% premium coverage.

But don’t mistake the new plan for a purely humanitarian effort, Alex added. Though he’s pleased to be able to afford health insurance for his employees, Alex said offering such necessities is also good business.

“They aren’t going to be a career barista,” he said. “They’re going to go out and be politicians and teachers and attorneys. So our goal is for The Wydown to be a good stepping stone and that you get taken care of in exchange for hard work.”

“Long story short, it costs a lot but we get a lot from it,” Alex added.

How do Wydown employees feel about it? So far, so good, said Tito Pena, who recently switched from an Obamacare plan to employer insurance.

“The insurance I’m getting through the shop has the same network so I’m able to keep my same doctor,” Pena said. “But with the group rate the shop gets and the percentage they help with the premiums, I end up paying less for a plan that has a better deductible. So I’m very happy with the owners’ decision.”

Photo via Facebook/The Wydown

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