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.
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With many safety programs out of date, it’s time to put technology to work to improve safety in the workplace.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.
Injuries due to slips and falls are one of the most frequently reported workers’ compensation claims. While these accidents can happen anywhere, any time, they typically spike during the winter months. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 20,000 workplace injuries due to falls from snow, sleet, and ice occurred in 2016. Of those, 28 percent resulted in more than a month off of work.
Employees and visitors alike are at risk, but with a proactive safety plan, slips and falls can be prevented.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 42,000 opioid-related deaths in the United States each year. And according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, drug overdoses are one of the leading causes of death for Americans under the age of 50. With the popularity of synthetic opioids surging, experts predict the death toll will only increase.
LMC Insurance and Risk Management (LMC Insurance) announced today the launch of a new health insurance solution that is underwritten by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Iowa-based employers with 51-500 eligible employees. The program, referred to as the Employer Coalition, will be available beginning Jan. 1, 2019. It will provide a more predictable insurance pool with features designed to stabilize costs long term, simplify administrative burdens and help employees better understand and utilize their benefits.
“Our goal is to create an innovative, new health insurance offering derived from the results of information shared from employers across the state of Iowa in our Midwest employer benchmarking survey, Share to Compare,” said Richard DeBartolo, Senior Vice President of LMC Insurance. “Today, employers in the fully insured market are asking for more influence in the decisions impacting their health insurance programs. Employers are looking at plans and technology designed to drive better consumerism.”
Health literacy refers to the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Health Literacy Month, observed each October, aims to close the gap that exists between the way healthcare is communicated and the ability of most people to understand the information. According to the National Action to Plan to Improve Health Literacy, nearly 9 out of 10 adults don’t fully understand routine health information. People who have difficulty understanding how to prevent and manage their health are more likely to skip needed medical treatment, go to the emergency room more often, and tend to make mistakes with their medications.
Did you know that 60.3 million U.S. workers are affected by workplace bullying? A 2017 survey conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute found:
70% of perpetrators of abusive conduct are men
61% of bullies are bosses
66% of all targeted workers are women
Male perpetrators target females 65% of the time
Female perpetrators target females 67% of the time
40% of targets are believed to suffer adverse health consequences from bullying
29% of targets remain silent about their abusive conduct; only 17% seek formal resolution
Bullying is generally defined as the use of intimidation through power, influence, tone or language to affect a person negatively. It is often intentional; however, sometimes the bully is not aware of his or her hurtful actions or words.
Across the country property and business owners have been overwhelmed by damage caused by tornados, fire, flood, and other disasters. For many, this is the first time they have experienced such loss, and they become targets of insurance fraud when questionable contractors show-up in damaged communities offering to clean and repair the damage, handle the insurance claim, and other services.
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