How to Save Money and Provide Better Benefits with BevCap’s Beer Distributor Health Insurance Captive

In today’s podcast we talk about the beer distributor health insurance captive with Natalie Witmyer from Bernie Little Distributors and Lee Anne Klas from BevCap.

Natalie shares how Bernie Little has benefitted from the captive with cost savings and improved benefits for employees.

Lee Anne tells us what a captive health insurance program is, how it all works, and how distributors can use this approach to save money.

Key Topics

  • Captive health insurance 101: Benefits, structure, keys to success
  • Debunking common myths and misconceptions around captives (too much risk, one big claim can sink the ship)
  • Natalie’s advice for beer distributors who may be interested in a captive health insurance program


  • Connect with Natalie Witmyer at Bernie Little Distributors,
  • Connect with Lee Anne Klas and learn more about BevNet and the beer distributor captive insurance group,

Podcast Summary: 

What exactly is captive health insurance, and how does it differ from traditional health insurance?


Always a self-funded health plan that purchase stop loss insurance

The captive is part of the stop loss insurance and takes a “layer” of risk from the stop loss insurance company in a pre-arranged financial manner

Typically the employer health plan is a departure from typical health plan administration and infrastructure because captives lean into risk and cost management

Traditional market doesn’t allow for control of risk and cost management or flexibility like a captive desires

What are the potential benefits of utilizing a captive insurance structure?

Self-funded health plan to gain control of your plan, claims and data

Add more features to your health plan (i.e., incentives) that currently are not widely offered by large insurance companies

Who is this for, is there a certain size company, or risk profile? What are the key ingredients that make an ‘ideal’ candidate?

Ideally an employer who is seeking to evolve their health plan performance and tired of the status quo of the large insurance company market.

Typically an employer with 100 employees insured on health plan

A high employee culture is ideal for a  captive due to the nature of many programs of captives are to better enrich the health plan features

A financially savvy team who understands self-funded health plan components, cash flow, risk retention and risk transfer (i.e., stop loss insurance)

A leadership team who desires to actively manage their health plan decisions from strategy to finance to creativity.

What are some common misconceptions or myths about captive insurance, and how can they be addressed?  

There may be myths in the market about captive health insurance and I’ll address them here:

  1. Risk: A captive insurance company is always fully funded to its risk taking capacity via premiums and reserves. This funding requirement is a regulation standard across the industry.  Thus, there are no surprises on captive “risk” taking
  2. One “large” claim (e.g., $1MM) is only shared at the captive level in BevCap’s case at $350K limit and then the stop loss insurer retains all risk above that claim.
  3. You can’t get “out”. Most well run captives only require a 12-month participation and that’s the plan sponsor (employer) commitment.  If you decide to leave then the company will forfeit any potential underwriting profit for the year they were participating.

In simple terms (if possible!) help listeners understand how a captive is set up, who’s involved, who’s managing claims, etc.

This part (health plan administration) is a departure from normal/traditional healthcare insurance.  In many healthcare captives a program manager (like BevCap) arranges the vendor stack collaborating with the members about how the want the program to run:

The Program Manager and Captive leaders will select the following:

Third-party claims administrator

Healthcare PPO Network

Pharmacy Benefit Manager

Stop loss insurer to “Front” the captive

Healthcare features and partners for risk and cost management

Maternity programs

Centers of Excellence programs