Things are no doubt more tiresome and stressful in the winter months. The good news is that your employees can keep healthy amidst all the stress associated with the season, without the risk of raising your company’s plan rates.
Here is a simple list that you can forward to your employees to maximize their existing health benefits during the coldest months of the year:
1. Get a Free Flu Shot
Not many people know this, but you don’t need to shell out your hard-earned money for a flu shot if you get it with your yearly check-up. You would need to cover the co-pay of course, but you’d have to pay that anyway when you go to the doctor. Take note, the more people who get them the larger the ring of protection it creates, so make sure you get yours.
2. Use a Mail Order Service for Your Prescriptions
Having mail order service for your prescriptions can help make life easier and more manageable for you with your health plan. Not only will the prescriptions you regularly take have lower prices, it will also keep you from driving to a drugstore in cold weather. Take a look at your insurance carrier’s website and check how you can get your prescriptions mailed to you.
3. Visit the Optometrist
It can be difficult to see in cold weather, especially since the nights are a bit longer during this period. Vision plans usually offer a yearly eye exam. Take advantage of it. A visit to the optometrist can help identify if you have eye problems.
4. Utilize that Flexible Spending Account
FSAs expire on December 31st 1 of every year, so make sure you spend every cent on the health or medical supplies you need. A Flexible Spending Account allows you to spend for certain out-of-pocket expenses such as copays and prescriptions, including pharmacy essentials like thermometers and band-aids. Before you purchase anything, however, check which items are covered by your health plan. If you’re still unsure what to spend on, put supplements and prescription glasses on top of your list.
5. Use Mental Health Services
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a kind of depression that affects people who don’t get exposed to sunlight, especially during the winter months. If you need help and guidance, make sure you reach out to mental health services that can help you deal with the depression you’re going through.
6. Visit the Dentist
Make sure your pearly whites are up for the eating challenge that’s sure to come during the holidays. If the dental deductible in your plan is already at its limit, but your annual insurance maximum isn't, prioritize any routine dental work which needs to be done. Take note that there are benefit periods which are not dependent on the calendar year, so it’s better if you check the time frame before you schedule an appointment.
7. Buy a Gym Membership
One thing you can include on your resolution list for the New Year is to go to the gym. A regular exercise and workout schedule will not only help you keep fit, it will also allow you to improve your body’s immunity to diseases. There are insurance companies that provide discounts on gym memberships, so see if your carrier offers it and get started.
Utilizing that health care plan makes a lot of sense especially during winter. Recharge and re-energize during the cold months by using the existing benefits you have, all while getting rid of the winter doldrums.
Avi is a Payroll Product Manager at Humi. When he's not reading up on payroll news, you'll find him at the gym taking on the next fitness challenge.