Happy Friday, everyone! We're only two weeks into 2018, and the new year is already newsworthy -- most notably with the cold weather, which brought snow to sunny Florida, and record-setting low temperatures to most of the nation. Of course, that has us thinking about the flu.
Well, we're not the only ones talking about it. According to some recent headlines, cold and flu season is a major concern for people of all ages this year, which brings us to our first headline this week:
According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, 5.8% of patient visits reported were due to flu-like illnesses. This is well above rates recorded for the 2016-2017 flu season, and nearly matches the height of illness frequency recorded across the 2014-2015 flu season.
What's more concerning is that indications suggest we haven't seen the peak of this year's season, yet. There are plenty of easy ways to avoid getting the flu, and the flu shot remains one of the most effective. Which is why the next headline is so noteworthy…
According to this article, though most college students in the U.S. believe it is important to get an annual influenza vaccine, only 46% say they typically get vaccinated, according to a new National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) survey, released earlier this month.
College students are at particularly high risk of getting and spreading flu because of frequent exposure to high-traffic areas. On that note, another common source of cold and flu exposure comes from the office, which is why we want to share one more headline.
According to this article, employees miss an average of five workdays per year due to the flu, at a cost of about $200 per person for each lost day. That means for a workforce of 250 employees, flu season could cost $250,000 in missed work days every year. This piece takes a closer look at the benefits of protecting your staff -- and yourself -- against this nasty flu season.
Now the 12/31 FSA deadline has passed, we have a bit of breathing room here at FSAstore.com before we ramp up for the next big deadline, the FSA Grace Period, coming on March 15! But, before we get to that, let's read about the employee benefit trends that may affect you in 2018.
Whether you're a manager or an entry-level employee, knowing what's out there in terms of employee benefits and health coverage can help you make more informed choices in the future and get the maximum bang for your buck. Here's what to look out for in 2018.
Looking for a new job in 2018? You may want to look at these companies first. Employee Benefit News used data from Glassdoor Economic Research to build a list of American companies that go above and beyond for their employees in terms of health/dental/vision insurance, vacation/paid time off, retirement planning, and maternity/paternity leave.
Today, health coverage, PTO and retirement planning are common employee benefits. It's voluntary benefits options that have become key for attracting new talent. BenefitsPro compiled a list of the most popular trends to expect in 2018, including student loan assistance, identity theft protection, personal financial planning, and more.
On the other side of the benefits discussion are the concerns faced by HR professionals, who directly communicate changes and updates to workers. Many of these HR trends reflect today's evolving workplace, including placing an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, curbing workplace harassment, and other relevant issues.
Happy New Year from all of us at FSAstore.com/HSAstore.com! For the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow our Learning Center, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.