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Blue @ Work

When tragedy strikes, one community rebuilds

NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

We asked some of our long-time small business customers why they chose — and continue to choose — Wellmark for their health coverage. Here’s the story of the small — but mighty — non-profit organization NewBo City Market.

Cedar Rapids: an eastern Iowa city known for its rich history, various parks and recreational activities, 300 different manufacturing plants and two dozen Fortune 500 companies. Most importantly, it's home to 126,326 residents, making it the second largest city in Iowa.

One thing the city never imaged it would be known for: The flood of June 13, 2008, when the Cedar River crested at a record-setting 31.12 feet. As office and home furniture floated down 10-square miles of Cedar Rapids, it was easy for the city to feel helplessness and uncertain for the future of their home. Rightfully so, as 10,000 people were displaced from their homes, and more than 42,000 tons of debris piled up.

But, it just takes one person, group, or idea to make a big difference.

Tragedy sparks community revitalization and growth

The folks behind nonprofit NewBo City Market External Site saw an opportunity to create a dynamic public space in the New Bohemia District near downtown Cedar Rapids. In 2008, their future site was under 13 feet of water. Now? NewBo City Market hosts more than 300 events External Site each year and 25 retail and food startups External Site call it home. This resilient, engaging and sustainable community hub — the market is a zero-waste facility — continues to build reasons for people to come back again and again.

Thriving community, thriving (and healthy) employees: Win-win.

Since 2012, NewBo City Market has been working in a variety of ways to inspire the community to revitalize and regrow. From pop-up markets and yoga to educational opportunities and arts events, there is something (or somethings) for everyone. While NewBo City Market has been there to help the community, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been there to provide peace of mind when it came to employee health.

And, variety is exactly what Scott Kruger, executive director of NewBo City Market, was looking for when it came to choosing a health plan for his dedicated, passionate employees.

“We work closely with our broker on various plan options. As a company of five full-time employees, each of them are reaching different stages of their life,” Kruger said. “One is 26 and coming off their parent’s plan, some have young families, and one is nearing retirement. We selected Wellmark because they tailor plans to give each of our employees exactly what they want — making everyone happy.”

Helping you be confident in your coverage

Making the right benefits decision for your small business — and your people — starts with asking the right questions. Get prepared with the Be Confident In Your Coverage guide Opens in a new window to help you have the best conversation with your agent.

If you have any questions, contact your authorized Wellmark representative, or email us at blueatwork@wellmark.com Send Email.

About the series

We wanted to learn more about why some of our long-time small business customers continue to choose Wellmark for their health coverage in their own words. Trust, shared values, experience and understanding continually come to the forefront.

Thank you to NewBo City Market for sharing their story with us.