Texas Insurance Agency, Iscential, Takes on Rising Heath Care Costs and Challenges Employees to Make Small Changes to Better their Health

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“A Better Me. A Better We.” is the mantra Iscential hopes to instill in its team members as it faces another bump in the cost of its employee health benefits package.

Iscential Wellness Project

I’m passionate about this and want people to see the good that comes from making healthier choices so it becomes second nature, a lifestyle.

Tired of seeing the cost of his employee health benefits continuing to rise, Iscential owner and CEO, Warren Barhorst decided it was time to make a change. A company-wide health initiative was developed and introduced to the team members: the Iscential Wellness Project—“A Better Me”.

“A Better Me” will promote education about health and overall wellness, with a focus on small choices that have a big impact on critical issues such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

“Heath insurance premiums are determined by age, sex, personal and family history, potential for future loss, and expenses and profit for the insurance company,” states Barhorst. “The only thing we have control over is the ‘potential for future loss’, so making smart, healthy choices is our only option for affecting our outcome and creating a better, longer and happier life.”

For Barhorst’s small business, the rates for individual health insurance have increased by 65% in the last three years. For families the increase has been 57%. For some, the cost is just too much and they are forced to forgo health insurance for themselves and their families.

“We can turn this around and make health insurance more affordable for everyone,” says HR Administrator, Elizabeth Olatunbosun. “We want to challenge our employees to make an emotional decision to change. We all have a stake in this and, as a company, we’re committed to supporting our team in making their health a top priority.”

In support of its Wellness Project, Iscential designated a “Health Czar” who will lead an internal effort to promote health and better living. Kitchens and common areas are now stocked with healthy snack options. In a basket that used to hold candy, a community “Health Library” offers magazines and books on diet and exercise. Daily information is distributed to help educate employees on how to make quality choices in terms of physical and mental health.

“I want to report back next year that the changes our employees made helped decrease the cost of our health benefits,” says Barhorst. “I’m passionate about this and want people to see the good that comes from making healthier choices so it becomes second nature, a lifestyle.”

About Iscential:
Based in Houston, Texas, Iscential is the largest Nationwide Insurance agency in the U.S. Through Nationwide and more than 30 other carriers, Iscential provides a full range of insurance and financial services for families and businesses, including: auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, flood, commercial, Texas Workers Compensation, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services.

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Angie Goings
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