Employers do all they can to keep their employees' health insurance and health care outlays to a minimum. And while most of the effort is focused on the upfront cost of insurance, copays and deductibles, employers are now trying to help their employees control the very costs they actually have the most control over - and one of those areas is prescription medication.
Helping employees become wise consumers of health services may also reduce overall insurance costs, as well as help employees conserve more of their own funds if they have high copays and deductibles.
The cost of drugs can vary greatly between pharmacies. And while your employees may have low copays for some drugs, if they go to the most expensive option when the insurance is covering the tab, it basically adds to the cost drivers for your insurance plan.
It's a nightmare scenario for business owners. Employees log in to their workstations and attempt to access the usual systems, expecting to find customer reports. Instead, they find a message demanding money.
If the business wants to regain access to its software and data, it will have to pay a ransom. Until then, it is locked out. The business has become the latest victim of ransomware.
Ransomware is malicious software that hackers introduce into an organization's computer network to encrypt its data. The hackers hold the data hostage until their demands are met.
Those demands are normally for money, often payable in a crypto-currency such as Bitcoin. The hackers threaten to encrypt the data indefinitely, or even start deleting it, if they do not receive payment.
Having a medical condition doesn't automatically disqualify you from buying life insurance. While finding coverage can be more difficult than it is for others, individuals with challenging medical histories and even severe conditions can usually find at least some coverage.
Employers have options when it comes to their workers' compensation coverage. Before making a decision, it's important to understand the differences among self-insured, self-insured group, and fully-insured workers’ compensation insurance. Because a self-insured employer assumes the risk of paying the workers' compensation claim costs for its employees, it must have the financial resources to meet this obligation. Further, when considering a self-insured group, employers need to understand how the program works, the financial strength of the group, and how the group is managed.
Learn about these options in our article "Understanding self-insured vs fully-insured workers' compensation coverage," prepared for Iowa Association of Business and Industry.
Wearable medical devices such as the Fitbit are making increasing inroads into all aspects of life. Corporate wellness programs are embracing them as a way to encourage activity. In some cases, incentives may be provided to employees who meet certain activity and other health targets.
Insurance companies are also getting more interested in collecting biometric data from customers via wearable medical devices and other forms of monitoring. For example, John Hancock now offers "interactive" life insurance policies, under which customers can submit to optional fitness and activity tracking via wearable devices and smartphones.
Many employee benefits advisors have been recommending that employees with health savings accounts use them as savings vehicles that can be tapped for future medical care; however, studies show that most people are spending the bulk of the funds.
A new study by EBRI found that while more Americans are using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to save and pay for medical expenses, few are investing the funds, maxing out contributions, or otherwise using it as a retirement savings tool.
In short, many people are not taking full advantage of these plans. But all is not lost, an HSA education plan can help employees who have HSAs understand how to get the most out of them and also how to use them to prepare for the future when they will at some point need the money for medical procedures.
While your employees can catch the flu year-round, fall and winter are the peak times for an outbreak. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 80,000 Americans died from the flu and more than 900,000 ended up in the hospital.
On average, U.S. employees miss more than 17 million workdays from the flu, costing employers $7 billion in sick days and lost productivity. Make sure your organization is prepared to help employees get through flu season.
Advances in technology affect everything and everyone, including workplace safety. The workforce is more tech-savvy than ever before, leading to changes in how we work and the availability of data.
With many safety programs out of date, it’s time to put technology to work to improve safety in the workplace. An article in Safety and Health Magazine suggest four ways technology can respond to today’s safety needs.
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