Where did HealthEE by HBG come from?

The world can’t turn without people. Not the people in the big offices high above the world or, in the case of the pandemic, hidden away in their home offices. Sure those people get the ball rolling, but it’s your delivery person, grocery clerk, nurses, and teachers who are on the ground making it all happen -despite how often they are under-appreciated and unprotected by the same world they are fueling. This underserved segment stepped into the spotlight due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The rest of the community finally recognized them as “essential.” We praised their efforts by clapping out of our windows, making signs, and raising them as heroes in the public eye. However, these grandiose gestures of support only go so far. Here at Healthy Business Group saw a gap, not just in the market but in our society, to protect and provide access to the underserved overworked, part time and gig workers of America. We saw how businesses around the country would have crumpled without their part-time employees, yet those same essential workers had the least access to insurance and benefits. The same people we crowned heroes, more often than not, could not afford to go to the doctor. How can that be? There must be a better way.  

Healthy Business Group went to work creating that better way. Crafting a space for everyone and anyone to have access to essential benefits and insurance coverage. That space took the form of the online store now known as HealthEE by HBG. Founded on the concept of Health for Everyone, Everywhere with the goal of being the Amazon of healthcare, HealthEE by HBG is your one stop shop, a marketplace of benefits at your fingertips. As a group of industry veterans, Healthy Business Group’s team has sought out the best value for your benefits from cost to services to flexibility. 

In order for HealthEE by HBG to truly be for everyone everywhere the Healthy Business Group team knew they needed a new kind of support team. This is where Ask Evan and his team come in. The Ask Evan team functions as dedicated advisors and educators to all. “I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy anything,” Evan, the head and namesake of the Ask Evan team told me, “I’m here to provide clarity and walk you through the options available.”We encourage and welcome you to schedule a call for free, no strings attached with an Ask Evan advisor to learn more about your own insurance needs and what options are available to you.

HealthEE by HBG has provided access to approximately 125,000 individuals in its first year of operation, but we aren’t stopping there. In the next year, we expect to provide half a million more people access to HealthEE by HBG by partnering with 50 organizations across the country. The HealthEE by HBG benefit store has changed healthcare for the better. 

Access to health (for) Everyone Everywhere

With one in ten people not having health insurance in the United States, I think it’s safe to say we have an access problem within the industry. But what does it mean to have real access to healthcare? It’s more than just being given a single option, take it or leave it. It’s more than being trapped for a year paying for coverage you don’t understand. 

Here at HealthEE by HBG, access means two things, education, and freedom. First, you should control your health and be free to choose how much coverage is right for you—space in selecting the range and longevity of the coverage. Only want benefits while you are between jobs, waiting to join your partner’s plan, or enduring a waiting period for a new job? Then, you can use HealthEE by HBG. More than just the power of choice, with our advisors on the Ask Evan team, you have access to guidance and education to understand better why you need what you need. We’ve taken something as guarded and confusing as healthcare and turned the conversation to ease and possibility. With Ask Evan in your corner, no question is too small. Your dedicated advisor will take you step by step through how the process works, yes, but also have a casual and honest conversation about your lifestyle and health needs. Once you understand what you need, you can enter our online marketplace and add your coverage to your cart. 

Having access is a power in itself. In our first year, HealthEE by HBG has provided this power to 125,000 members through association partnerships within real estate, logistics, teachers, healthcare, and a myriad of other industries. You can also wield the power of access by scheduling a call with our ask Evan team here or browsing the original online store that started it all here.

Who and What is an Ask Evan?

We’ve all been trapped in a loop of “press 3 if you’d like to speak with a service provider” and “stay on hold for the next available representative.” With each awful hold song, you get more and more frustrated just to have a real person at the end speak as if they were a robot themselves and just want you to purchase whatever it is they are selling- whether or not it’s the right option for you.

When HealthEE by HBG was born, our mission was to create something that provided access and education to all; that’s what the extra EEs are for; we want to help everyone everywhere. So while our team of insurance experts set out to find the best value and packages for you, Evan Armstrong cultivated our Ask Evan support team. But he does much more than simply provide support for HealthEE customers. Instead, Evan is an advisor and educator whose goal isn’t to sell you a product or make a commission but to problem solve with you in real-time to uncover how you can get the most out of your insurance. 

No premeditated scripts or robot voices telling you to repeat your name and date of birth over and over, just a conversation. Evan and his team define success as leaving callers with a peace of mind they didn’t have when they picked up the phone. “I’m not trying to convince anyone to buy anything,” Evan told me. “I’m here to provide clarity and walk you through the options available.”

A call with Evan or one of his team members is more casual in tone. The Ask Evan team isn’t purchase-driven, they are focused on ensuring you have the knowledge you need to make the best decision for you and your family.. Where ever before, have you had a representative in your corner who would speak with you one-on-one about your health and lifestyle? Then using that conversation, tell you honestly that while they have an array of coverage options available based on your needs, the right coverage lies elsewhere. Evan and his team value you and your health above all, and if we don’t have the benefits for you, we will tell you so and direct you in another direction. 

Evan was once a carpenter with many of our customer’s exact needs and concerns today. Before the pandemic, he was the help behind voluntary benefits and has had years of experience assisting consumers with insurance needs. However, for him, what makes HealthEE by HBG different from his prior experience is the unbiased nature of his conversations with callers and the joy Evan finds in truly helping someone when they call. He says, “My position at HealthEE is quite different from any previous position. As much experience as I have selling, I really don’t like selling. Being able to present someone’s options clearly, and having no real motivation to push them toward any decision makes it much more rewarding.”

Sweet as Apple Pie

I grew up in a huge apple pie family. It could be the middle of July, but if the family was getting together, grandma made at least two pies for the occasion. As yummy as they are, apple pie isn’t the healthiest of recipes, so I scoured for something a bit more health-conscious that still gave me the same warm and cozy feeling as apple pie. 

Baked Cinnamon apples 

Difficulty level: Easy 

Ingredients:

  • 6 Apples 
  • 1 cup Old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons of Coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons Honey 
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon (I always fudge this with a little extra for good measure)
  • ½ teaspoon Ground ginger 
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup Pecans (chopped) 
  • Optional – Apple cider 

Step 1: Core your apples & preheat your oven to 400

First, slice the top of your apple to create a flat surface. Next, take a sharp knife and carefully cut out the center of your apple. The goal is to get the seeds and make an apple bowl, if you will. You can squeeze a little lemon juice on top to prevent browning. 

Step 2: Grease an 8×8 oven-safe dish with cooking spray or coconut oil 

Step 3: Time to combine your oats, pecans, and spices. Add in melted coconut oil and honey. Now stir.

Step 4: Place your cored apples on your dish, pour in your oat mixture as evenly as you can and press the filling towards the center of the apples. 

Step 5: Pour water (or apple cider) into the bottom of the baking dish, cover the apples with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. For extra flavor, baste the apples with cider every 10 minutes. 

 

Step 6: Uncover the apples for the last 5 minutes. 

The apples should be fork tender when cooked, let cool and enjoy!

 

*Recipe via thecleaneatingcouple.com

How you can support your kids mentally this back to school

We are living through some unprecedented times, and even before the global pandemic, teenagers have been historically prone to believing no one quite understands them or what they are going through. Here are a few tips and friendly reminders to get you into the right headspace for supporting your kids returning to school this fall.

  1. Encourage sharing 
    • While they may not immediately pour their hearts out to you, making a point to check in and ask how your kids are doing consistently is always a great place to start. The key here is to encourage conversation, not criticism. As a parent, it’s easy to react quickly with an opinion or advice when sometimes kids want to be heard. Maybe you can return to how you feel about whatever they are sharing at a later moment. Still, at this moment, if your immediate response is negative, your kids may begin to associate talking about their problems with you with negativity which is not an association either of you want. Try more general, less polarizing initial reactions. 
  2. Support but take a step back where you can 
    • Setting goals and routines create structure and help kids develop a sense of responsibility. That being said, adolescents crave independence, and finding a balance between the two can negate the oh-so-common trope of teens feeling the need to sneak and lie. 
  3. Work through conflict together. 
    • Working through conflict goes hand in hand with our last point. Sure, you are the parent, and your kids should just trust and listen to you. Still, you are raising them to be independent, functioning members of society who will inevitably have their own opinions that may differ from yours or get themselves into situations that may cause you to be angry. Sometimes it’s best to walk away. At the moment, it can be challenging for both of you to articulate your feelings appropriately, which creates further frustrations and leaves room for one of you to say something you probably don’t mean. 
  4. Set an example and take care of your own mental health 
    • Even when they seem worlds away, your kids are watching you. How you take care of yourself and handle situations paves the road. Keeping an open mind when discussing therapy, depression, and anxiety will positively affect how your kids handle these issues on their own. There is no shame in recognizing you need help and seeking it. However, if you express a feeling otherwise, if your kids need help, they may not ask for it, and whatever is troubling them will only snowball into a more significant issue later down the line. 
  5. Ask for their opinions. 
    • Every parent wants their children to have a good life and to find fulfillment. It’s easy to refer back to gaps in your experience or try to instill your exact definition of success or societal standards simply because you think it will help them achieve happiness. Still, the truth is what provides you joy will not always provide enjoyment for your kids. When you truly love someone, you learn to agree to disagree with them. Whether regarding religion, politics, the way they want to cut their hair, their pronouns, their sexuality, or their style, remember they have long lives ahead of them to either flourish with their choices or change their minds and need a shoulder for support. 

6 Stretches you can do from your desk

The view from over our computer screens may have changed since the pandemic, with work from home reigning supreme for many. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is our computers being the center of our work world. Spending hours on screen can be draining, and it’s essential to be mindful of our bodies and take care of ourselves; one great way to do this is to use these six easy stretches throughout your day. They are all desk-friendly, and your back will thank you!

  1. Focus- Neck
    • Sitting up straight, slowly tilt your head to your right side and gently lift your right hand to the top of your head to extend the stretch. Do this on either side for 5-10 seconds each and repeat when needed.
  2. Focus- Shoulders 
    • Extend your hands in front of you and intertwine your fingers, palms facing away from your body. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds if you want a little more stretch to push into your hands slightly.
  3. Focus- Back 
    • For this stretch, you can sit, but it works better standing. Reach your right hand over your head in a sweeping motion resting your left hand on your hip. Hold here for 5-10 seconds and switch. 
  4. Focus- Hands 
    • Hand stretches are not as widely discussed, but with our hands in constant motion between our computers and phones, they deserve some love. Reach your arms straight out in front of your hands in fists, roll your wrists in circles after five circles, and switch and roll counterclockwise. Now straighten out your fists, and with your palms facing away from you, use one hand to pull your fingers back towards your chest. Everybody’s flexibility is different so take this slow. 
  5. Focus- Legs 
    • This one does require you to stand. Standing straight, pull your leg back, pointing your toes as if to reach up and touch your toe to your behind, and hold your foot here. You can use your desk or a nearby wall to steady yourself. Again everybody’s flexibility is different, so if you can’t fully tuck your knee back on the first go, that’s OK stretching takes practice. Over time, this and the other stretches will become easier. We recommend 15 seconds on each side to start. 
  6. Focus- Shoulders and upper arms 
    • Take your right arm horizontally across your chest, and take your left hand at a vertical angle over your arm. You should feel this one on the outside of your upper arm. Hold here for 15 seconds each. 

Doing these stretches once or twice a day will help you feel less tension and looser as you leave whatever your office is for you and continue your day.