Filtered by category: Health & Welfare Benefits Clear Filter

How pharmacies can help achieve health equity

Disparities in the U.S. health system have come into sharp focus over the past one and a half years, sounding an undeniable call to action. What steps will we take towards a more equitable health system? 

We must reimagine the future of care and solve the challenges that have hindered health equity in the past. Pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) are in an excellent position to lead the way by embracing the precepts of value-based care.

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How employee financial wellbeing can impact physical and mental wellbeing

Last January, Sam was one of 190 million Americans that made a New Years’ resolution. Her goal? Improve her physical health and get her finances in order. Sam started strong but by summertime, she found that financial issues were keeping her from achieving her goals. Sleepless nights spent anxiously thinking about debt were compounded by stress eating, and Sam avoided visiting the doctor because of the expense. As a result, her overall wellbeing suffered.

Sam’s story is just one example of how financial wellbeing can spill over into an employee’s physical and mental health. In the workplace today, many HR and benefits professionals are looking to address this link.

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The Labor Shortage – The Unfortunate Reality

A virus can be blamed for many current realities, and certainly its impact includes the multi-factorial employment issue that Tom Casey and his colleagues at Discussion Partner Collaborative (DPC) meaningfully explore in this blog that’s been repurposed from their hugely popular July white paper of the same moniker.  As their research conveys, however, the global labor shortage won’t be resolved by the cascading impact that the pandemic-inspired ending to unemployment benefits provides.  This multi-factorial employment issue is fundamentally about talent readiness.  Having said that, let’s avoid the tendency to immediately point to Talent Acquisition for solutions.  Instead, as you reference this blog titled “The Labor Shortage – The Unfortunate Reality,” read with your holistic organizational lens.  Talent readiness is as much about retention (a.k.a. organizational culture, executive leadership, demonstrated inclusion, total rewards, professional development, succession planning, etc.) as it is finding and attracting the best talent.  That’s what I experienced differently about this work by Tom and DPC.  We have a crisis around labor that showcases how important it is for the solutions to be everyone’s responsibility, not strictly those who lead or contribute in Human Resources.  NEEBC, and I personally, are honored by the opportunity to share this important work on an emerging, substantial, universal workforce issue. 

Introduction by Robin Antonellis, Executive Director of NEEBC

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Dependent Care FSAs: How they can support your employees

Working parents have been challenged with safety and health concerns and balancing work and providing care for children whose schools or daycares were closed for extended periods.  

Now that most schools and daycares have resumed in-person education, it might be time to reevaluate benefit options to support employees with dependents. One solution is to offer employees the opportunity to opt into a dependent care flexible spending account, or DC-FSA.

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Worthen Industries Creates a Wellness Culture that Achieves 80% Employee Engagement and Remarkable Outcomes and Savings

With the firm belief that healthy employees are happier, safer, and more engaged workers, Worthen Industries made wellness a top priority over a decade ago.

Worthen wanted a comprehensive wellness program designed to improve individual health and wellbeing, prevent chronic diseases, and positively impact the quality of life of its employees and their families. Worthen also strived to attract and maintain an engaged employee base to promote long-term productivity, employee retention, and health care cost reduction. Being self-insured, Worthen wanted to control insurance costs while also creating a more “adhesive” culture of wellbeing and camaraderie among employees spread out over multiple states. Not only did Worthen want wellness to be the common thread that ties everything together, they also wanted wellness and safety to be seamless and integrated. By any measure, Worthen’s wellness efforts have been successful.

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How a diverse workforce can help to improve employee health

A work culture of diversity brings with it new ideas, ways of thinking and problem solving, and greater creativity and innovation. But, committing to diverse hiring practices alone isn’t enough to fully support a workforce that includes employees of different generations, gender, race, ability, LGBTQ+ community, and socioeconomic status. Your employee benefits also need to reflect this shift.

There is no one-size-fits all approach to health care. By choosing and offering a health plan that’s flexible and features comprehensive benefits, you’ll be able to help all your employees access care and live healthier lifestyles.

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Supporting Your LGBTQ Employees During Pride Month and Beyond

Each year in June, the LGBTQ community and its allies celebrate Pride Month, showcasing the diversity of the LGBTQ community and exploring the past and present of LGBTQ advocacy. While our society has made great strides when it comes to discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, there’s still plenty of work to be done. As an employer, one of the most meaningful ways you can honor Pride Month is by reviewing your health care benefits to ensure that they fully support the health and wellbeing of all of your employees, including those who are LGBTQ.

Understanding LGBTQ health disparities
Health care equity is a real issue when it comes to the LGBTQ population. People who are LGBTQ are at higher risk than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts for a number of medical conditions, diseases, and infections, including cancer, obesity, and behavioral health issues.1 There are also barriers to health care access for LGBTQ individuals, most of which can be traced back to discrimination and oppression.2

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Prioritizing Women's Health Boosts Community Wellbeing

Women are often the custodians of family health, taking on the role of caregiver for their children, partners, parents, and community. A recent study found that the onset of the pandemic brought on additional responsibilities: In 55% of households, women are twice as likely to have primary or sole responsibility for cooking, cleaning, childcare and education. What’s more, 80% of mothers said they were the ones managing home school since the coronavirus lockdowns.

With these added responsibilities, working moms in particular have expressed feelings of burnout in their daily lives and a sense of being betrayed and abandoned by society. Often faced with a “right choice trap” between taking care of family and work obligations, they’re forced to put their own mental and physical health needs on the back burner.

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3 Methods to Bend the Cost Curve in 2021

Employers and benefits consultants looking to bend the cost curve in 2021 will have their work cut out for them. In response to recent legislative changes and the uncertainty the pandemic has brought, here are three fail-safe methods you can use to bend the cost curve for your employees and your organization.

For Employees
Benefits for unique needs and times
One of the many disparities the pandemic threw into sharp relief was how few employees were equipped to work from home. While certain workers may have had a slightly easier time, many were left turning bedrooms and kitchens into makeshift cubicles.

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The Big Rebrand: 3 New Categories of Benefits in a Post-COVID World

A workplace observance that’s been around less than twenty years, National Employee Benefits Day well deserves its spot on the annual calendar. Recognizing all those administrators, insurers, and professional advisors who balance the broad spectrum of plan design, day-to-day benefits administration, affordability within budgets, ever-evolving compliance rules and emerging trends is smart business. These teams shape “wellbeing,” literally by stewarding finite resources to bundle what American employees need AND want. Isn’t that the definition of wellbeing? Who’s with me on replacing the current “employee benefits” lexicon with “employee wellbeing”??…that’s a topic for another day.

When I asked rising executive and thought-leader, Alexa Baggio, to be NEEBC’s blogger for National Employee Benefits Day, I knew first-hand her talent for recognizing the pulse on the employee benefits landscape and her ability to translate it into actionable opportunities. In her blog below, she exceeded my expectations for delivering fresh, crisp, poignant perspective on designing and offering meaningful benefits, including distinguishing three new benefits categories. 

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Women are Disproportionately Impacted by the Pandemic – Your Call to Action for Women’s History Month

My first career milestone came in 1982 when one of the nation’s premier financial institutions welcomed me into its formal training program. Having never viewed my gender as career relevant, imagine my surprise on Orientation Day when one other woman and I sat among twenty black men with a flip chart – prominently positioned – with the words “Welcome to our Minority Internship Program.” While my title recollection may not be precise, learning I was a “minority” has never faded. In America, the needle for women has moved in the last four decades. But, enough?

March, encompassing both Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, celebrates, honors and remembers the women on whose shoulders we’ve stood. And, these observances invite deep reflection and resolve. Using COVID-19 as a lens, as well as seeking a future where gender equity is secure, we share below some pandemic-related examples and questions to consider.

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World Oral Health Day Spotlights the Importance of Dental Care to Your Overall Health

March 20 marks World Oral Health Day – an annual reminder that taking care of your mouth is critical to taking care of your overall health and well-being. In 2021, preventive oral health care is especially important after many people delayed scheduled appointments when dental offices were closed to all but emergency services at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, an August 2020 Biomedical Journal article suggests that a healthy mouth could decrease the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and reduce associated morbidity1. As an employer, you can play a key role in helping to improve health outcomes for your employees by prioritizing oral health care in your organization. Solutions that make dental care affordable for employees, such as dental benefits that include preventive care, along with policies that make it easy for employees to make and keep dental care appointments, are a great place to start.

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