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Workplace Coronavirus Preparation: Telecommuting Policies & Best Practices

Jeff Griffin

"It has a 9/11-like feel." That's how the CEO of Southwest Airlines last night described the impact of coronavirus on its business. While this might not be a surprising assessment from a global carrier like United Airlines, it's somewhat shocking to hear from Southwest, since it doesn't even serve Asian and European markets.

So what's going on here? Is this coronavirus (Covid-19) really something to fear here in the United States, or is this mass hysteria nothing more than a media-driven panic, as Dr. Drew suggested as recently as this morning on Fox News?

So much distrust of the mainstream media and our government institutions has been sewn into the fabric of our country these past few years that it's admittedly very hard to tell. At this point, it probably doesn't really matter if it's real or not. The perception is that it's real, and as we've been taught for decades now, perception is reality.

In fact, just moments ago, while writing this blog post, the first U.S. college announced it was closing down for the semester, moving 50,000 students to online learning. And as I was adding this to my post, I received an alert that the Mayor of Austin just cancelled the South by Southwest music festival and conference.

I don't know about you, but this feels pretty real to me.

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Topics: wellness, Preventative Care, workplace wellness, Telecommuting

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Coronavirus (Covid-19); Its Impact on Employers, Employees and The Workplace

Jeff Griffin

It's not a matter of if, but when. That's what Federal authorities finally said yesterday regarding the likelihood of the coronavirus spreading across the United States.

Infectious disease experts are now calling on businesses, schools, and communities to brace themselves for what they see as the inevitable outbreak of the coronavirus across the country.

"The disruption to everyday life might be severe," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Strategies to contain the virus on our shores, now officially named Covid-19, have thus far been based on isolating those who have contracted the virus, as well as quarantining those who may have been exposed to those individuals.

Authorities now admit that as the virus becomes more widespread, containment strategies will likely expand to the closing of schools, the canceling of mass gatherings, and the implementation of widespread telework for employees.

With financial markets across the world tanking and President Trump now scheduled to address the nation tonight, it now appears as if the threat of a global pandemic can no longer be ignored nor minimized by those who have thus far claimed that talk of a pandemic was nothing more than fear-mongering by the media.

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Topics: wellness, Preventative Care, workplace wellness, Telecommuting

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What is Preventative Care? (And How Does it Decrease Healthcare Costs?)

Jeff Griffin

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the idea of “preventative care” has been more widely discussed. The law requires insurance companies to provide certain preventative care services at no additional cost to the enrollee (meaning that the insured will not be charged a copay or coinsurance as long as the provider is in-network). 

Many employee benefits brokers, employers, and insurance companies started emphasizing preventative care and maintenance years ago, when they discovered that doing so can decrease their overall costs over time, but the ACA is what put this type of healthcare on the map.

What is Preventative Care?

Preventative care (also known as preventive care) is any health service aimed at the prevention of disease or in support of general health maintenance. Preventative care is also one of the primary focus areas in wellness programs, which are of particular interest to companies who understand the long-term value preventative care can provide in taming runaway healthcare expenditures, including rising premiums.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Cost Containment, Preventative Care, wellness program

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Bringing Mobile Healthcare to Underprivileged Youth

David Rook

As an employee benefits broker, we immerse ourselves in health care issues every day. After all, it’s part of our mission to ensure our clients’ employees and their dependents get access to outstanding health care resources. 

Yet our reach in this regard only extends so far. For the unemployed and under-employed, employer-sponsored health care simply isn’t an option. And for some, not even the marketplace exchanges and other government-provided relief programs make their way to the youth of this country. 

That’s why, as long time supporters of underprivileged children’s charities, it gives us great pride to lend our support to The Hope Association and their Run for Hope initiative. Their mission is to build and operate two mobile health clinics to serve underprivileged children in the Washington, DC and Los Angeles metro areas, with possible expansion to other cities thereafter. 

We announced this collaboration back in September, when Levi Rizk, a Virginia Pediatrician, set off from Santa Monica Pier to run from LA to DC in just under 100 days.  To cover that distance, he'd have to run roughly 40 miles a day. That essentially two marathons a day, back-to-back for 100 days. Tomorrow morning, Levi will run the last 3 miles of this journey, up the National Mall in Washington DC to the steps of the US Capital.

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Topics: Preventative Care, Innovation, Disruption, Giving Back, Community

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Bringing Health Care to Underprivileged Youth

David Rook

As an employee benefits broker, we immerse ourselves in health care issues every day. After all, it’s part of our mission to ensure our clients’ employees and their dependents get access to outstanding health care resources. 

Yet our reach in this regard only extends so far. For the unemployed and under-employed, employer-sponsored health care simply isn’t an option. And for some, not even the marketplace exchanges and other government-provided relief programs make their way to the youth of this country. 

That’s why, as long time supporters of underprivileged children’s charities, it gives us great pride to lend our support to The Hope Association and their Run for Hope initiative. Their mission is to build and operate two mobile health clinics to serve underprivileged children in the Washington, DC and Los Angeles metro areas, with possible expansion to other cities thereafter. 

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Topics: Preventative Care, Innovation, Disruption

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The Upside of Regular Vision and Dental Exams: Early Warning Signs of Other Health Problems

David Rook

The Upside of Regular Vision and Dental Exams:

Early Warning Signs of Other Health Problems

Can your eye doctor or dentist save your life? It turns out the answer is yes. Taking advantage of employer-offered vision and dental benefits may have unexpected advantages. While the more obvious benefits of eye and dental exams are better vision and good oral health, routine vision and dental exams can also spotlight early warning signs of other health problems. What are some of these health issues, and how are they discovered by your ophthalmologist or dentist?

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Topics: Cost Containment, wellness, Preventative Care

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