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Posts made in June, 2017


In California, 45 percent of people are covered by an employer-provided health insurance policy. But of course, having a policy and actually accessing it are two very different things! As with anything else in life, using a tool fully correctly is the key to reaping the most benefit from it. And when you think of health insurance as a tool for good health, it’s easy to see how simply being covered by a policy might not be adequate to actually keep workers healthy. Last month, we blogged about how workers are actually using those benefits. We focused on one particular subset of workers, separated by income. This month, we’ll be discussing those who earn between $50,000 and $99,999 annually. We’re using stats gathered by Aflac, to understand how workers access their benefits, as well as how those benefits help you with employee recruitment and retention. Productivity. Fifty percent say that their healthcare benefits are very or extremely important to their overall work productivity. Retention. Still, though, 45 percent of these workers say they are “at least somewhat likely” to look for a new job in the coming year. How can you make them stay? Forty-one percent say that improving their health benefits package could make them want to stay at their current jobs. It is possible that, although this demographic does have health insurance, their deductibles or co-pays create an obstacle to fully accessing those benefits.. In fact, 61 percent said that they have less than $1,000 to pay out-of-pocket expenses associated with a serious illness or accident. That might explain why 71 percent of respondents said that they be “at least somewhat likely” to purchase voluntary insurance options, if offered by their employer, to help with these expenses. Other types of insurance. Since 88 percent of respondents reported that a benefits package is influential in helping them stay with their current employer, Aflac probed further to see which insurance benefits are most commonly offered. 92 percent of these workers were offered a major medical insurance policy 71 percent are offered life insurance 56 percent are offered disability insurance 22 percent are offered voluntary insurance What can we learn from these stats? We already know that a comprehensive benefits package is one of the most important components of employee retention. But which benefits are most important? In the $50,000-$99,999 earnings range, we can see that many workers are concerned with their out-of-pocket costs. Meanwhile, most employers are not offering voluntary insurance packages to help lower that burden. So, while the vast majority of these workers do have health insurance, they aren’t necessarily fully satisfied with their benefits package. For...

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After you’ve spent weeks or months anticipating your vacation, the last thing you want is to get sick on the trip. Unfortunately, we can’t always control these things, and illness can strike when we least expect it. As you’re planning for your trip, it’s best to contact your health insurance company and ask about coverage (especially if you’re going overseas). While packing your bags, you hopefully included some general over-the-counter remedies, just in case. But let’s assume you didn’t prepare for this outcome, and now you’re sick, far away from home. Follow these six steps to receive medical treatment and deal with your discomfort in the meantime. Call your hotel concierge. It’s not widely advertised, but many hotels offer help to guests who become ill during their stay. Your concierge can refer you to a reputable clinic, provide basic first aid supplies, or direct you to the in-house pharmacy for over-the-counter medications. Call your health insurance company. If you forgot to do this while planning your vacation, take the time to call your health insurance company now. Understanding your coverage limits can help you decide whether to seek treatment now, or attempt the return trip home. Of course, if you’re experiencing an emergency, skip this step and go straight to an urgent-care clinic or emergency room. Remember your travel documents. Don’t panic and rush off to the clinic without taking your travel papers, health insurance card, and identification. Also, remember to bring any medications that you use on a regular basis. The doctor needs this information so that you can avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions. Drink plenty of water. No matter where we go, illness works about the same. Your body needs to stay hydrated, so keep a bottle of water near you and remember to sip on it. Call your primary care physician. You still need to seek medical care in your current location. But if you’re worried about complications from a chronic condition, or an interaction with a drug you already take, checking with your regular doctor can put your mind at ease. Consider a change of plans. If you need to get home immediately, upgrading to first class might make your flight more bearable. But with most common illnesses, it’s not necessary to return home. You might need to change your itinerary slightly, so that you can stay at your current hotel until you feel well enough to continue your...

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