Industry leaders are catching our drift, do you?

Benefits are not one size fits all. Instead, benefits are a purchase to be considered, researched, and compared. We are not alone in these beliefs; a recent article on employer benefit news interviewed the CEO and founder of advising firm Next Impact, Lester Morales, regarding his views on employee healthcare. He spoke of his experience with his father having multiple myeloma cancer. Despite his father having employer-sponsored health insurance, the cost of the treatments forced him into bankruptcy. His experience has led him to believe employers should look beyond the traditional to find more employee options.
We couldn’t agree more. We created HealthEE by HBG to be that other option. HealthEE by HBG gives employees the power to browse coverage options. While traditional insurance is known for being a complicated and confusing process, it does not have the reputation of being one with various options. When asked what the most prominent misconception people have about healthcare is, Morales compared the process to purchasing a car, “You wouldn’t just drive to the local auto dealership, get in the first car and drive off without asking questions and negotiating the price. But that’s exactly what we do with healthcare.” Morale’s analogy is reminiscent of HealthEE by HBG’s co-founder Christian Stearns, who has repeatedly said no one wakes up in the morning with the thought of buying insurance. Car owners take great care in deciding which car they will purchase, and employees should be able to take the same care when buying benefits as it isn’t a purchase to be taken lightly or on a whim. Giving employees a sense of ownership and control of their health can be a powerful gift, especially now that inflation has taken hold and employees are trying to cut spending wherever possible.
The question becomes, however, is, who does the responsibility fall upon? Is it up to employers to seek various options for their employees? No, we don’t think so. With HealthEE by HBG, we have done the shopping around and created a one-stop marketplace of benefits ranging from healthcare to vision to additional benefits like life insurance and pet insurance. With a wide selection of plan types, we also offer these benefits at no cost to the employer. So give your employees the power to choose the coverage right for them and leave the administrative headaches to us.

Read the full interview here


After all this time, it is easy to forget that there are other reasons for coughing and sneezing than Covid. Still, as we continue to acclimate back to public life in a seemingly post covid dominated era, it’s becoming evident that this allergy season stands out from the rest. 

Earlier this fall ABC News hit the nail on its head in Detroit reporting researchers have found that “climate change is leading to more pollen in the air we breathe and tough seasons like this one,” yet another reason we need to make efforts to become a more eco-conscious society. But more to the point, how can you set yourself up for less runny allergy season, well we have some tips to boost that immune system of yours; 

Get moving

Implementing physical activity into your fall routine boosts your health and lessens your susceptibility to sickness. Now I know it’s common to throw exercise in to solve many health concerns. Still, the proof is in the pudding with this tip, a professor at Appalachian State University known for his research in exercise, nutrition, and immunology, David Nieman, told the New York Times about a study he conducted in 2011 following more than 1,000 adults living in North Carolina for three months in 2008. In this study, many aspects of the subjects’ lives were logged, such as diet and exercise and how often they were sick, but the number one lifestyle factor was physical activity.    

Listen to your body 

Now in that same breath, there is such a thing as over-doing it. While there is no measure for what is considered too much exercise, taxing your body can suppress the immune system making you susceptible to infection. Everyone is different, what is manageable for you may not be the same for your loved ones, so it is essential to listen to your own body and not measure or compare yourself to those around you. Stress and a lack of sleep can also reduce the body’s response to infection. Stay in touch with yourself physically and mentally. 

Follow a healthy diet. 

Now, diet is another easy ‘cure-all’ for health concerns for a reason. Brightly colored fruits, vegetables, citrus, fruits, red cabbage, and kale are all excellent sources of “flavonoids,” the chemical compound found in plants that help the body fight inflammation and illness. Additionally, items probably already in your daily routines, such as tea, coffee, dark chocolate, and specific grains such as buckwheat, are also considered flavonoids.

Keep those covid precautions in mind. 

Washing your hands often, getting your flu shot as well as the most up-to-date covid booster, and even wearing a mask may feel oh so 2020 but will continue to lessen your chances of getting sick. Consider testing before big social gatherings, and asking others to do so can minimize the risk of infection to everyone in your orbit. While this is one of the worst allergy seasons, Covid-19 is still in the air, and it is still a consideration we must all be wary of.

Be prepared 

Colds and allergies can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma. Ensure your inhaler and medications are recent and on hand when needed. Additionally, take your allergy medication every day of the season to fend off any sniffles in the future, regardless if you feel any symptoms. Implementing vitamins into your daily routine if you have not already done so is another way to prepare your body to fight infection. 

Unfortunately, allergies are a seemingly unavoidable part of life, the CDC clocks as many as 60 million Americans suffering from seasonal allergies. All we can do is try to boost our immune systems and carry tissues in our bags during this time.


For more tips read this NYT article here

The Great Resignation?

The Great Resignation was a rumbling that began amid the pandemic and has grown exponentially. With millions of people resigning from their jobs and opting into the gig economy, where they can work from home, have more say over their worth, and be in control of their work-life balance. I sat with our co-founder Christian Stearns to discuss this phenomenon and what it means for business owners and employers.

Christian explained that he considers the great resignation a misnomer and that he feels this phenomenon should be called the Great Realignment, as it’s more than people just leaving their jobs. Its employees realizing and acting upon what they need to have a high quality of life. Amidst the pandemic, we as a society discovered we can measurably work from home, and in eliminating the time of a commute and the physical distance between the office and your family, it’s not surprising many do not want to go back to the old way of business, in the office, 9-5. Thus employees left in search of employers willing to provide them with the lifestyles they became accustomed to during the pandemic. 

Many of you experienced this first hand, so I asked Christian how we could take this sour realignment and make sweet lemonade. His response was for business owners and employers to take a step back, recognize the need to give to get, the need for flexibility and that employment is not the one-way street it may have once been. More than flexibility, employers need to provide value to their employees. In this new wave with a booming gig economy where many work multiple part-time gigs or freelance for many companies providing access to benefits can be the differentiator. 

As much as the move to the gig economy has given employees a new kind of freedom, in many ways, it has also created a massive vulnerability as part-time, and contract workers seldom qualify for benefits and insurance coverage. Filling this gap and covering this vulnerability can make all the difference when retaining talent, whether in the form of contract workers or even your full-time staff. The workforce is full of under-benefitted, and downright un benefited workers. The truth is that health workers lead to a healthy business, and we help make employees HealthEE. 

Quiet Quitting and what it means for employers

First, employees left their jobs in droves, but the problems for employers didn’t stop there. In a more optimistic time when the American dream was still the dream and the future was bright, employees wanted to go the extra mile to move up the hierarchy for a better tomorrow. The thought process and your hard work will pay off, and you will be rewarded. However, as inflation increases and wages can’t keep up, many employees have stopped drinking the kool-aid and either want to be compensated for the extra labor or won’t do it. Thus the term quiet quitting, in which you do what’s in your job description, nothing more, no staying late or working outside your predetermined hours or taking on extra work for the good of the company. Quiet quitting isn’t necessarily a new practice. Many compare the concept to coasting. However, I think an important distinction here is that quiet quitting isn’t personal to the company but is rooted in the need for work-life balance or extra in exchange for extra. Work-life balance is more of a private matter; balance means something different depending on the industry and person. 

However, if you’re seeking an extra to exchange for effort, consider offering more incentives to employees. I’m not talking about pizza parties or casual Fridays- nobody sees those as incentives. Instead, employees want incentives to make their lives less stressful to take weights off their shoulders. One significant weight is sure to be the expense of insurance and benefits. With HealthEE by HBG, you can offer your employees more options at more possible rates at no cost to the employer. More than just the affordability aspect, HealthEE by HBG provides a sense of control and choice to employees, something they won’t find elsewhere. It’s not a stretch to consider a piece of the quiet quitting appeal: the sense of control it offers employees. Give your employees the power of choice and the possibility of affordability with the HealthEE by HBG benefit stores. 


The Creator Economy AKA the Everyone Economy

 Over the last 20 years, how we consume entertainment and media has drastically changed. Back in the day, we had accepted that the Marilyn Monroes and Elizabeth Taylors of the world were of a different species, unattainable in lifestyle, image, and wealth, only existing behind the gates of MGM to a world now where anyone and everyone with a smartphone can attain status. While I wouldn’t dream of comparing the likes of Emma Chamberlin to Marilyn Monroe, my point is concerning influence and wealth. Many dismiss the concept of content creating or influencing (depending on your audience) as a genuine career. Still, you have to consider the undeniable fact that Miss Chamberlin, at the age of 19, bought herself her first home in West Hollywood for 3.9 Million dollars. Now, of course, Emma Chamberlain is a success story at the most extreme side of the creator economy spectrum, but she is not the only one living on her content creation. 

Content creation refers to the work used to hopefully sway viewers to embrace a trend or purchase a product. There are many kinds of content creators, some of which, like Emma, are personalities themselves influencing viewers because they want to be like her. Others, for example, make UGC or user-generated content that brands can use for “organic” appearance advertisements. While to make UGC, you may be an influencer in your own right; you are more likely just making clean content that marketers hope looks like a natural person using and praising their product. Of course, there is also the degree of influence to consider. With this desire to appear honest and real many marketers look to smaller accounts, dubbed “micro-influencers,” to promote their products. If you haven’t guessed it by now, what makes the creator economy go round is the social media platforms they frequent but more so the brands sending them products and writing checks. Now to be clear, it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. A tiny portion of the influencer economy is making the big bucks, but just enough people do that everyone else believes they can. A survey by the Morning Consult in 2020 of 2,000 13-38 year-olds found that 54% of respondents wanted to be an influencer, and 86% would be willing to post sponsored content. In other words, the influencer economy isn’t going anywhere. Such a high demand for this career can inspire anyone looking to join in, as well as inform company owners who are either hesitant about the whole debacle or worried they waited too long to jump on the bandwagon. There are many nuances to the creator economy that may feel intimidating to utilize from the outside looking in. Still, you can better understand the driving forces behind many of today’s purchasers by understanding the opportunity of a micro-influencer as a trusted messenger for your product or service. Many are influenced to purchase products or hope to influence others by buying products. Either side of the coin puts anyone unwilling to accept and use the creator economy to their benefit at a severe disadvantage in today’s consumer climate.

Terms to know when it comes to benefits, coverage and insurance.

Part of what makes the Healthcare industry so confusing is all the jargon and terminology. So as our goal is to clear the confusion, we take to our Instagram stories regularly, asking our followers what terms leave them scratching their heads. We do much more than just answering questions on our stories, so if you aren’t already following us, check out @healtheebyhbg on Instagram. We have compiled a few terms and their definitions into one place for those of you looking for clarification. 

Premium is the amount you must pay your insurance company for coverage. This amount is determined based on various factors depending on the type of insurance you purchase. For example, what’s impacting your car insurance premium will be different from your medical insurance. A general rule of thumb for most health-related insurance plans is these five main factors; age, tobacco use, location, type of plan, and the number of people the plan covers. With HealthEE by HBG, you pay this monthly or quarterly.

Prior Authorization, otherwise known as preauthorization and pre certification, is a requirement by health plans for the patient (you) to obtain approval for a health care service or medication before it can be provided. This occurs when the insurer wants to evaluate whether or not the care is medically necessary.  

Policy vs. plans– the insurance policy is the set of rules in place regarding the limits and regulations of your coverage. The insurance plan is the roadmap for your health, considering the policy. In other words, the policy affects what is available within your plan. 

The deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance company steps in. This amount is dwindled by your premium payments. Once you pay the deductible amount through your premium payments or paying for doctor’s visits, your insurance company steps in. A low deductible means your premium prices will be higher, but chances are you will meet your deductible quicker, whereas a high deductible will lower your premium payments. If you don’t go to the doctor, this could be the right choice for you; however, in the case of an emergency, you may be footing the bill on your own.

An IUA or initial uninsurable amount 

An IUA is an amount you pay per a specific medical event before your expenses become sharable. For example, our Common Sense health share plans which can be found here, have IUAs that members are responsible for paying – but have no deductibles.

We could write a novel with how many terms exist within Healthcare and insurance, but we hope these terms bring clarity to your relationship with your coverage. Suppose you have further questions or other phrases you would like clarified. In that case, our Ask Evan advisory team is made up of real people at your disposal to answer questions, provide support, and give you coverage and confidence on your benefit purchasing journey. Click here to schedule a free, noncommittal call with an advisor today. 

Preventive screenings

You never know what life is going to throw your way. The unknown can make life exciting, but when it comes to your health, don’t live your life not knowing what’s happening under the surface. It’s easy to think, you know, to say you know your body and you would know if something was wrong. But, unfortunately, assuming you know and proactively checking are two very different practices. As much as we think we know our bodies, Sometimes they are loud when something is wrong (like when your stomach grumbles when you’re hungry or you feel pain when you fall), and sometimes our bodies are eerily quiet, and you don’t know there is an issue until it’s too late. 

That is why it is essential to get preventive screenings consistently. Preventive screenings are an excellent tool for knowing what’s happening inside your body. If you are at high risk for a condition, knowing so can help you to take steps to protect your health and delay or, in a perfect world, alleviate the situation altogether. A prime example of using preventive screenings as a tool to better your health is by getting a carotid artery screening. Strokes are often called the silent killer as they have no symptoms, but by getting a carotid artery screening, you can take proactive steps to know whether or not you have the possibility of a stroke. Preventive screenings are all about giving you the power to know your body. 

October is always a good reminder to get screenings done especially considering the length we discuss and remember all who we have lost to breast cancer. But preventive screenings are not limited to testing for cancers such as breast cancer. Health professionals most commonly screen for the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Breast cancer and cervical cancer in women
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Obesity
  • Lung cancer
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm

Our mission here at HealthEE by HBG is to give you power over your health through access and education. Still, another vital aspect of utilizing that power is getting tested. Please don’t put this off. Our medical plans cover preventive care. Get screened today.