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Tuesday 05/18/21 Walt Podgurski 440-773-1108 E-Mail
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CVS Health and Aetna tackle skyrocketing mental health issues among women
By Alyssa Place / ebn / / Read Article

In response to May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, CVS Health and Aetna have launched a variety of resources targeted to women, working mothers and caregivers. Forty-five percent of women told CVS Health they are struggling with their mental health. However, 42% do not know how to navigate mental health support and seek appropriate care.

The programs aim to address the lack of support women have felt during the pandemic. Aetna’s Here 4 U virtual group therapy program will offer separate sessions for women and mothers. These sessions provide a forum for women to share their challenges. The healthcare company has also launched a Women’s Health Mental Resource kit to help women find professional support through their insurance.

SHRM Study: Lower-Income Earners, Women, Minorities Face Greater Mental Health Challenges
Many groups disproportionately affected by depression, job burnout
Stephen Miller, CEBS / SHRM / / Read Article

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on working Americans' mental health, but some groups have been disproportionately affected by depression and feel more emotionally drained or "burned out" by their jobs than others.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, new research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) highlights the psychological toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on employed Americans. More than a year into the pandemic, widespread symptoms of depression and of feeling emotionally exhaused persist. Of note, working women and younger employees reported experiencing burnout at significantly higher rates than men and older workers, respectively.

Comment: Covid is refuting the case for Medicare for All
Sally Pipes / For The Herald(Net) / / Read Article

Medicare for All just won’t die. More than 100 House Democrats have signed onto new legislation that, if passed, would outlaw all private insurance and put all Americans on a federally run insurance plan within two years.

The transition to a single-payer system would most directly impact the majority of Americans with private insurance; a group that, by and large, is happy with the health insurance status quo. According to a recent Gallup poll, 63 percent of these Americans are generally satisfied with their health coverage. That figure actually increased last year during the pandemic.

Medicare for All’s champions are fond of pointing out that a majority, albeit a slight one, of Americans supports the idea and has for several years, according to polling from the Kaiser Family Foundation. But they change their minds once they learn more about it. Just 13 percent support Medicare for All if it means abolishing private insurance, according to a Hill-HarrisX survey.

New Employer Benefits for the Post-COVID World
By Rachel Neill, CEO, Carex Consulting Group / HR Daily Advisor / / Read Article

The pandemic’s sweeping impacts shifted how, when, and where millions of people work. Firms that previously did not allow remote working under any circumstances changed their tune and offered flexible working options.

As part of this broader change, companies also altered the benefits they offered to new hires and existing workers. As the pandemic fades and the economy recovers, firms will need to remain competitive by attracting and retaining top talent, who will have expansive employment options. Expanding benefits is needed to keep these workers happy and engaged.

Here are some suggestions for benefits administrators, HR managers, and department heads for picking post-COVID benefits that resonate:

Ergonomic Workstations and Work-from-Home Allowances
Student Loan Reimbursement
Flexible Work Hours
Mental and Physical Health Offerings
Protection for Bella, Luna, or Baxter

How hybrid work could impact employee benefits strategy
Ryan Golden / HR Dive / / Read Article

Remote work has changed the relationships employees have with their managers, a dynamic that will impact employee benefits strategy in the event companies decide to pursue hybrid work, said Brian Kropp, group vice president and chief of HR research at Gartner. Managers, he noted, have seen inside their reports' homes and lives "in ways they never have before," blurring historical lines that have existed between the two sides.

"It changes the manager's role," Kropp said, explaining that leaders now may need to study and understand how to support workers' emotional well-being.

At the same time, Gartner observed a "significant increase" in organizational spending on mental health and wellness benefits, he added. The consulting firm stated in a June 2020 piece that 68% of its clients had introduced at least one new wellness benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register at https://icmg.org/live.

39 million families set to get monthly child tax credit payments starting in July
By JOSH BOAK, Associated Press, Sarah Krueger, WRAL Durham reporter / WRAL.com / / Read Article

The Treasury Department said Monday that 39 million families are set to receive monthly child payments beginning on July 15.

The payments are part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which expanded the child tax credit for one year and made it possible to pre-pay the benefits on a monthly basis. Nearly 88% of children are set to receive the benefits without their parents needing to take any additional action.

Qalified families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under 6 and up to $250 per month for children between the ages of 6 and 17. The child tax credit was previously capped at $2,000 and only paid out to families with income tax obligations after they filed with the IRS.

Disability Insurance Awareness Month: An Opportunity to Learn About Important Insurance Coverage / / Read Article

When most people think about their biggest asset, many think of their home or 401(k) account, but it’s really their lifetime earning potential, which could be in jeopardy if they were to become injured or disabled.

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM). LIMRA is proud to support this industrywide initiative to raise awareness about the importance of income protection.

The absence of emergency savings, rising medical costs, and an overall trend of fewer employers offering benefits to workers has created a uniquely challenging time. The pandemic has highlighted how important income protection is, and the potentially severe consequences Americans could face if they had to miss work due to illness, injury or pregnancy.

Today, just 14% of Americans say they have disability insurance, down from 31% in 2012. Yet, almost half of Americans — 48% — acknowledge they need disability insurance and 45% of families would face financial hardship within six months if a primary wage earner became disabled and unable to earn income.*

The three most common reasons for not having coverage are:

It is too expensive
Have other financial priorities
Don’t feel I need it

According to LIMRA data, 38% of consumers mistakenly believe that disability insurance pays their full salaries until they can return to work.

Valuable Tools For Managing Your New All-Digital Personal Brand
William Arruda, Senior Contributor / Forbes / / Read Article

Last year, when March rolled around, companies started moving their workforces home. And some of them will continue to work from home, at least part of the time. A recent Gartner survey of company leaders found that 80% will allow employees to work remotely at least part of the time after the pandemic, and 47% will allow employees to WFH full-time. That means your flesh-and-bones brand has been replaced with the bits-and-bytes version of you. And it means you need to be more deliberate, skilled, and steadfast in managing your digital personal brand to ensure it remains authentic and compelling.

The good news is that there are many tools and resources that can help you deliver a powerful first impression, connect with those who matter, keep you informed about what’s being said about you online and demonstrate your relevance and brilliance in the new digital workplace.

1. Video Tools
2. Brand Awareness Tools
3. YouTube
4. Your LinkedIn About

Photo Of The Day

Monday, 05/17/21 - - Pandemic accelerating employers' interest in voluntary benefits: WTW survey

Tuesday, 05/11/21 - -
What you need to know about the cost and accessibility of mental health care in America

Wednesday, 05-12-21 - -
New Washington Payroll Tax to Pay for ‘Free’ Long-Term Care Benefits from the State

Thursday, 05-13-21 - -  Amazon confirms nationwide expansion of telehealth services

Friday, 05-14-21 - -
8 low-cost apps to help employees manage their mental health

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Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.