Bringing Mobile Healthcare to Underprivileged Youth

David Rook

As an employee benefits broker, we immerse ourselves in health care issues every day. After all, it’s part of our mission to ensure our clients’ employees and their dependents get access to outstanding health care resources. 

Yet our reach in this regard only extends so far. For the unemployed and under-employed, employer-sponsored health care simply isn’t an option. And for some, not even the marketplace exchanges and other government-provided relief programs make their way to the youth of this country. 

That’s why, as long time supporters of underprivileged children’s charities, it gives us great pride to lend our support to The Hope Association and their Run for Hope initiative. Their mission is to build and operate two mobile health clinics to serve underprivileged children in the Washington, DC and Los Angeles metro areas, with possible expansion to other cities thereafter. 

We announced this collaboration back in September, when Levi Rizk, a Virginia Pediatrician, set off from Santa Monica Pier to run from LA to DC in just under 100 days.  To cover that distance, he'd have to run roughly 40 miles a day. That essentially two marathons a day, back-to-back for 100 days. Tomorrow morning, Levi will run the last 3 miles of this journey, up the National Mall in Washington DC to the steps of the US Capital.

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Topics: Preventative Care, Innovation, Disruption, Giving Back, Community

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17 Unique Employee Perks from High-Flying Companies

David Rook

If you think your employees only care about salary, think again. You should never underestimate the power of employee perks when it comes to gauging employee satisfaction. In fact, a survey from Glassdoor found that 80 percent of people would rather have new benefits or perks than a pay raise.

So what kind of perks are we talking about? We don't just mean two-week vacations and employee discounts — companies need to go above and beyond to keep their employees engaged and loyal.

Of course, we've all heard of more and more companies offering perks that would have been unthinkable in the working world of yesteryear, like unlimited vacation or free lunches. However, some companies on the cutting-edge are thinking outside of the box to offer unique and unusual perks to their employees to keep them engaged and happy.

Here are some examples of unique employee perks from high-flying companies:

1. Free overnight breast-milk shipping for new moms on business trips at Zillow.

2. Free egg freezing and fertility assistance for Spotify employees.

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Topics: Company Culture, Innovation, Recruiting

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Bringing Health Care to Underprivileged Youth

David Rook

As an employee benefits broker, we immerse ourselves in health care issues every day. After all, it’s part of our mission to ensure our clients’ employees and their dependents get access to outstanding health care resources. 

Yet our reach in this regard only extends so far. For the unemployed and under-employed, employer-sponsored health care simply isn’t an option. And for some, not even the marketplace exchanges and other government-provided relief programs make their way to the youth of this country. 

That’s why, as long time supporters of underprivileged children’s charities, it gives us great pride to lend our support to The Hope Association and their Run for Hope initiative. Their mission is to build and operate two mobile health clinics to serve underprivileged children in the Washington, DC and Los Angeles metro areas, with possible expansion to other cities thereafter. 

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Topics: Preventative Care, Innovation, Disruption

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More Companies Are Welcoming Pets at Work (& Insuring Them Too)

David Rook

Having a "pets at work" policy is a simple program to implement that can also boost employee morale. Allowing pets in the workplace works particularly well when your employees are passionate about their pets. It's a low-cost perk for human resources to implement, with the added benefit that it can actually improve employee retention.

As reported in Fortune Magazine recently, having Spot as your coworker is quickly replacing foosball in popularity among Millennials: "In a recent survey by social meeting site Skout, more than half of all employees (51%), and 58% of those under age 30, said that dogs in the office make a company 'a cool place to work' — three times the number who said the same about ping pong or foosball tables."

Why Not Make Your Office Pet-Friendly?

People love their pets as a source of inspiration and comfort, but the bond that develops between a pet and an owner gets disrupted every work week for a good portion of the day. Being able to spend time with pets for only brief periods during the early morning or at night can be stressful for both the pet and the owner. That's why having them in the office can help ease separation anxiety for pets, while improving workplace morale for the owner.

Having pets around really seems to bring a more relaxed energy to the atmosphere of the office. Dogs and cats make things more enjoyable for people in all sorts of settings, and offices are no exception. There are also some people who don't have pets but love to be around them. Therefore, this policy can even be a perk for those you never thought of as animal lovers.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Innovation

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Healthcare Innovation Through Disruption: Paying Patients To Save Money

David Rook

Healthcare Innovation Through Disruption: Paying Patients To Save Money

As a continuation of our on-going series on innovations in healthcare cost containment, today we turn our attention toward Vitals, a company that is on a mission to become “the Priceline of healthcare”. Vitals is a welcome addition to an industry in which costs can be opaque and consumers often feel powerless.

The absurd price disparities in the American healthcare system stand out as one of its most frustrating features. For example, a brain MRI ranges from $209 to $5,560, and while one place might charge $300 for a blood test, another charges just $75. A mammogram could range in price from $23 to $1,929.

Vitals software helps consumers compare prices of anything from a simple blood test to major surgery. Patients can research cost, availability and quality ratings for various providers, thereby enabling informed decisions.
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Topics: Employee Benefits, Cost Containment, Innovation

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Employers Are Joining The Pack With Pet Insurance

David Rook

Employers Are Joining The Pack With Pet Insurance

We love our pets, and for good reason. There have been many scientific studies that demonstrate the strong psychological and physiological health benefits from having a pet, according to the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians (AAH-ABV). Pets help us relax and make us more actively engaged with our environments, and they can play an important role in helping us deal with life’s hardships.

For all these reasons, and the fact that 62 percent of American households own pets, it was only a matter of time before group pet insurance was made available.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Innovation

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Healthcare Innovation Through Disruption: Lab Testing & Theranos

Joe Genova

Healthcare Innovation Through Disruption: Lab Testing & Theranos

Silicon Valley has been a hub of innovation for the past few decades, and Palo Alto-based Theranos is no exception. Founded in 2004 by Elizabeth Holmes, then a 19 year old Stanford dropout, Theranos is poised to disrupt the 75 billion dollar laboratory testing industry.

Their business model is simple; they developed technology which allows them to be quicker, more convenient and far cheaper than their competition. 

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Topics: Cost Containment, Innovation, Disruption

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