What Financial Health Means to Me

Pay-Bills.pngIt’s an odd question to ask someone off the cuff, “What does Financial Health mean to you?

Some people may hear that phrase and focus on the health side, wondering about hospital bills or medical insurance.   Others may quickly understand that this is really about where one is financially, such as if their bills are able to be paid, or if their child can go to college.

But financial health is all that, and much more. It’s a subject that can impact anyone at anytime.  Right now 57% of Americans are struggling financially. This is approximately 138 million adults, and it’s not just the ‘poor’ that struggle with finances, it’s people from across the several demographics. (Source: Financial Health Consumer Segments.)

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Physical Health Linked to Financial Stress

stressed-300x216.jpgResearch published in the journal Psychological Science, led by a team from the University of Virginia and Columbia University, confirmed that concerns about money causes more than just psychological stress.

They compared levels of economic insecurity and complaints of physical pain and noticed both were on the increase. The team utilized various studies to see if the two might actually be linked. They then hypothesized that fiscal insecurity would cause people to feel a lack of control in their lives - leading them to feel anxiety, fear and stress: psychological processes that have been proven to be associated with physical pain.

One of the team's studies revealed that a participant's employment status and insecurity level corresponded with their own reports of pain.

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Paying With Our Health

November 19, 2015

health, financial stress

Jen Creech

33214038_m.jpgAbout the Stress in America™ Survey Since 2007, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual nationwide survey as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign to examine the state of stress across the country and understand its impact.The Stress in America™ survey measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public and identifies leading sources of stress, common behaviors used to manage stress and the impact of stress on our lives.

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Financial Stress Levels Deemed 'Too High'

stressed-300x216.jpgSignificant numbers of Americans, and therefore employees, are stressing about their financial situation at a level deemed “too high” by the American Psychological Association.

Stress levels, perhaps predictably, are higher at households with less than $50,000 in income, than those at higher levels. Also, stress levels are higher among the “younger generations” as well as parents.

Of particular concern to authors of the study, Stress in America: Paying With Our Health,is that “stress related to financial issues could have a significant impact on Americans' health and well-being," said Norman B. Anderson, PhD, CEO and executive vice president at the APA.

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Sticking to Financial Goals Helps Your Health

33214038_m.jpgIt's not just about your waistline any more. Researchers have long known that financial stress can take a toll on physical health. The American Psychological Association found that "for people coping with existing health problems, financial and interpersonal stress can exacerbate their conditions."

Now a new survey finds that sticking to financial resolutions helps people stick to fitness goals. TD Ameritrade surveyed 1,444 American adults about their New Year's resolutions and found that 80 percent made health-related resolutions and 69 percent set financial goals. The respondents who were satisfied with their current financial condition were more likely to stick to their health resolutions, with 66 percent saying they had begun working on them compared to 55 percent overall.

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Avoiding Open Enrollment Anxiety

December 10, 2014

health, benefits

Michael Giardina

stressed-300x216.jpgOpen enrollment has been an annual headache for employers, even before the presence of the Affordable Care Act and the numerous plan changes towards more employee consumerism that followed. But next year, the health care law’s employer mandate becomes a reality for many. Lisa Marie Monnig, program director of claims and benefits at Accolade, a consumer engagement healthcare company, explains how employers can ensure that open enrollment is a smooth process for everyone involved.

Do plans of attack and engagement efforts change with each plan type?

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Employers Not Dropping Health Coverage in 2015

December 09, 2014

health, benefits

Alan Goforth

33214038_m.jpgMost health plan sponsors are not making major changes to their employee coverage for 2015. However, employees can expect to see continued implementation of changes that have been made incrementally for the past several years.

Those are the primary findings from “What to Expect During Open Enrollment Season,” which is part of the recent health benefits survey conducted by Employee Benefit Research Institute.

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Top 4 Items That Consumers Hate About Enrollment

stressed-300x216.jpgOpen enrollment is officially underway — and the majority of employees are not excited about it at all.

That’s because most employees have a host of grievances about the enrollment process. According to PlanSource, a cloud-based provider of benefits administration, for example, more than half (55 percent) say there is something they find frustrating about their employer’s benefits enrollment program.

Additionally, 52 percent said they would rather do any other unpleasant activity than endure the “laborious process” of enrolling in benefits.

PlanSource asked consumers what their top complaints about enrollment were aside from cost — which would undoubtedly be cited as the top complaint given continuous premium increases.

Here’s what they said.

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Saving for Retirement and Health Care Priority for Employees

November 28, 2014

health, retirement

Marie Cabural

1During the first six months of 2014, health savings account (HAS) usage increased 33%

Saving for retirement and health care expenses are priority for employees for all ages, according to the latestreport from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The report indicated that the saving trends for employees of all age groups were encouraging. During the first-half of the year, the number of first-time contributors increased by 37% while the number of millennial contributors rose to 55%.

 

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FinFit Offers a Solution to High Deductible Health Care Plans

November 20, 2014

health, benefits

FinFit Staff

FinFitLogoAre you interested in or currently offering a high deductible health care plan? If so, FinFit can solve challenges related to high deductibles affecting your employees.

FinFit now provides employers a resource that can offer assistance when it’s needed most, eliminating some of the distress that comes with unexpected challenges and creating a more stable workforce. FinFit’s Health Finance Program delivers a safety net for your employees at an extremely affordable rate.

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