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March 15, 2022

WGAT: Ensuring a Healthy Future for the Agricultural Industry

By David Zanze, Executive Vice President of Western Growers Assurance Trust

When Western Growers Assurance Trust (WGAT) was founded in 1957, our mission was to give Western Growers (WG) members an affordable option for health care benefits by offering highly customizable benefit plans to meet their diverse needs. Our focus continues to be supporting our members and ensuring a healthy future for the agricultural community.

More than six decades later, we are still committed to our original mission and have expanded health benefit services to meet the growing needs of agricultural businesses. WGAT health plans are only available to WG members based in California and Arizona. WG members are also eligible to become part of our independent board of trustees, giving them the ability to take an active oversight role and weigh in on important investment decisions that affect the future of WGAT.

Growing with our Members

Recognizing the unique population we serve, we’ve created a client service representative team which provides personalized and bilingual service at a local level, with offices throughout California and Arizona. Our client service representatives are highly mobile and travel to different locations, working flexible hours to serve the needs of our members.

We recognize the significance the border region has on the agriculture industry and designed a comprehensive Mexico Cross-Border Program to provide flexible medical and dental care options. WGAT was one of the first exclusive networks to provide cross-border care, ensuring our members can access quality care that costs much less than comparable services in the U.S.

WGAT provides health care at our Cedar Health and Wellness Centers to serve the primary care needs of employees. Our Cedar plans deliver exceptional and convenient care with lower copays and are an effective way for employers in the agriculture industry to offer basic health coverage and preventive care. The Cedar Network is included in every WGAT plan. We continue to expand our list of network providers throughout California and Arizona. It remains a popular option, especially for employers in the agricultural community.

We also offer pharmacy benefits management solutions to help employers control costs and ensure their employees are getting accurate and adequate prescriptions. Our retail network of pharmacies totals more than 65,000 nationwide, and our mail order program fills more than one million prescriptions each year. Our prescription drug cost control program, which ensures clients and members are optimizing cost-savings opportunities, has since saved WGAT more than $3.3 million in costs since 2018.

For employers looking to become proactive in dealing with the impact of chronic diseases on their workforce, WGAT partners with Pinnacle Health Management to offer a health management program at no cost to employees diagnosed with a chronic care condition. The program, which is included with every WGAT health plan, provides support for those diagnosed with:

  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
  • Additional support programs include Weight Management, Mom-to-Be, Cancer Awareness, and Nicotine Cessation

As part of our commitment to our members, we also work to inform them of new laws and legislative changes that may affect their obligations as an employer. WGAT members receive regular updates from our team of legal experts so employers can keep abreast of the latest requirements and remain in compliance.

We will continue to look for ways to increase the value of our health products and meet the unique needs of the agriculture industry. We remain focused on our singular mission to offer competitive health plans at a rate our members can afford to keep your valued workers healthy and productive.

If you don’t have a WGAT plan, contact Western Growers Insurance Services for more information and see how we can help you better manage your health care costs at (800) 333-4942. 

In addition to serving as executive vice president of Western Growers Assurance Trust, David Zanze is the president of Pinnacle Claims Management, Inc.