Originally posted on thinkhr.com
Growing up can be tough. The challenges of school, relationships with friends, sports and other activities can be stressful for children. Peer pressure, along with what they see and hear daily via social media, TV, movies and video games, can cause them to stress out about how they look. Comparing themselves with their friends—or, worse, with supermodels, movie stars, or pro athletes—can then lead to a negative body image.
- An obsession with their size, shape, weight, and muscles (or lack there of)
- Spending time looking in the mirror looking for and pointing out flaws they think they see
- Talking negatively about themselves
- Constantly looking for ways to improve their looks
- Comparing themselves with others
If you know a child who’s struggling with their body image, here are some things you can do to help:
- Start a discussion about body image.
- Talk about the messages we get through media.
- Try to avoid using judgmental terms like “fat” or “skinny.”
- Stress the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.
- Support their efforts and praise achievements.
- Set a good example
If you think there’s a serious problem
When a child or adolescent has serious issues about the way they see themselves, it can lead to depression, negative behaviors, and eating disorders. Watch for these signs:
- Skipping meals, fasting, constant dieting, or binge eating
- Obsessive exercise/weight training
- Using diet pills or laxatives for losing weight or growth hormones for developing muscle mass
If you think your child has or may have an eating disorder or other serious body image issue, talk to a doctor or health care professional. Getting the right treatment can make all the difference.
By Bill Olson
Originally posted on ubabenefits.com
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule and fact sheet for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. Although the final rule primarily affects the individual market and the Exchanges, the final rule addresses the following topics that may impact employer-sponsored group health plans:
- The 2020 maximum annual limitation on cost sharing is $8,150 for self-only coverage and $16,300 for other-than-self-only coverage.
- For fully insured plans, any indication of a reduction in the generosity of a benefit for individuals that is not based on clinically indicated, reasonable medical management practices is potentially discriminatory.
- Amounts paid toward cost sharing using direct support by drug manufacturers (for example, coupons) to insured patients to reduce or eliminate immediate out-of-pocket costs for specific prescription brand drugs that have a generic equivalent are not required to be counted toward the annual limitation on cost sharing.
- Federally Facilitated Small Business Health Options Programs (FF-SHOPs) may operate a toll-free hotline rather than a more robust call center.
The final rule is effective on June 24, 2019. The final rule generally applies to plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2020.
By Karen Hsu
Originally posted by ubabenefits.com
Recently, the “Happiest Place on Earth” wasn’t living up to its name for many families. For almost a full year, malicious software had been installed on point-of-sale systems at several Earl Enterprises restaurants. This software then captured debit and credit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names of users purchasing food at these venues. Identity theft has become too commonplace in our day and age and we need to become better educated on where we are most likely to encounter threats as well as ways to avoid becoming victims.
How many people are truly affected by identity theft? According to IdentityForce.com, here are some basic numbers:
- In 2017, 6.64 percent of consumers became victims of identity fraud, or about 1 in 15 people
- That equals 16.7 million victims last year, an increase of 1 million from 2016
- Over 1 million children in the U.S. were victims of identity theft in 2017, costing families $540 million in out-of-pocket expenses
- There’s a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds
- Identity theft is one of the most common consequences of data breaches, as 31.7 percent of breach victims experienced ID theft
- There were 1,579 data breaches exposing 179 million records last year
- It takes most victims of identity theft 3 months to find out what’s happening, but 16 percent don’t find out for 3 years
How do you protect yourself from identity theft? Experts agree that there are several basic steps to take to help prevent theft from happening.
CHANGE PASSWORDS REGULARLY
If you are anything like me, you frequently forget the passwords you have for the numerous online accounts you manage. One way to manage those passwords, and help you remember to change them, is an online password manager like LastPass. Enter the passwords into this secure account and then you’ll just need to remember one password to access them all. Was there a security breach at your gym? Just log on to LastPass and in one click, you can have a new password for your account and can go along with your day.
AVOID PUTTING PERSONAL INFO ON SOCIAL MEDIA
In an era of “over-sharing” you must be cautious about giving away personal information on your social media accounts. Thieves are smart and can mine your accounts for information. When you post about being out on vacation, you open the door for thieves to come rob your home. The same holds true for identity theft. Be careful about posting sensitive information online like maiden name, age, birthday—even your high school! All it takes is one crafty thief to take the background info you’ve posted on social media and open a new credit card in your name. Use caution when you share this sensitive information online.
CHECK YOUR ACCOUNTS REGULARLY
Gone are the days of getting a bank statement in the mail every month that you reconcile with your checking account ledger. With almost all of our banking transactions occurring online, many people never check the detailed statements for their accounts. This is exactly what the identity thieves want to happen. Check your bank statements for transactions you didn’t make, medical bills for care you didn’t receive, and credit card statements for cards you do not have. Also, make it a practice to check each of your three credit reports at least once a year—and the best part is that this is free for you to use!
ID THEFT INSURANCE
One last way to protect yourself against identity theft is to enroll in ID Theft Insurance. While ID Theft Insurance does not protect against the actual monetary theft, it does cover the costs you, as the victim, will incur while rebuilding your identity. The coverage may include:
- Phone call and photocopying charges
- Postage fees for mailing documents
- Salary loss due to uncompensated time away from work while repairing one’s identity
- Legal fees
- Access to a fraud specialist who can assist in restoring good credit and protecting one’s identity again
- Help with preparing documents, filing police reports and creating a fraud victim affidavit
Taking these steps will help protect you and your family from identity theft. While it doesn’t guarantee you will be protected all the time, it does make it harder for the thieves to gain access to your protected information—and this can make your identity stay in a happy place—with you!
By now you’ve heard of the term “gig economy” but you may not know what it means. Is it describing the economy of musicians as they work gigs? Does it mean something about computers and the measurement of space allotted for their programs? Does it have something to do with fishing? Well, not exactly. But, have no fear! We will break this term down into easy bites and you’ll be an expert on the gig economy in no time.
What IS the Gig Economy?
The term “gig economy” refers to the new landscape of employment in the world where workers are hired for temporary, flexible jobs instead of full-time permanent positions. Think of it this way: workers in a gig economy are paid for completing a job in a predetermined timeframe—like musicians are paid for a night of music (a gig) at a venue. In a gig economy, you see that independent contractors and freelancers tend to be hired over the more traditional, full-time job seekers. Examples of jobs that thrive in this economy are technology-based positions, creative jobs, and the new tide of service-based positions in companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Instacart.
Gig Economy Numbers
Forbes magazine reports that according to the 2018 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 55 million people in the US classified as gig workers. This is a huge number! In fact, that translates to more than 35% of the current US workforce. Projected to rise to 42% in 2020, over 40% of these workers are estimated to be millennials. As those numbers increase, the proportion of male to female workers shifts. Once right at 50/50, the new ratio is 60/40. This is attributed to larger numbers of women returning to school for postsecondary education. In fact, many leave the workforce completely to return to school versus taking courses and working at the same time.
Pros of Gig Economy Jobs
There are many pros to a job in this category. Job seekers who are looking for gig economy positions name flexible workplaces and flexible hours as their top priorities. The shift to remote offices as well as the freedom to work at whatever hours are most convenient definitely supports this new economy. Employees who have the discipline to manage their workflow and complete tasks on time are ones that will thrive in a gig job. The positives are not limited to just the employees, though. Employers like being able to choose new hires from a much larger pool of candidates because they are not tied down to job seekers in their immediate vicinity. Employers are also able to save money as they do not have to invest in work equipment, health benefits, or on-going training for these independent workers.
Cons of Gig Economy Jobs
The cons of gig work are some of the flip sides to the pros of gig work. These drawbacks include the absence of health benefits and 401k benefits. Freelancers have to buy their own healthcare and figure out their own savings schedule for retirement—both of which aren’t impossible, but they do take up time and tend to be at a greater expense than the benefits offered in a traditional work environment. Gig workers also face the reality of no paid sick days or vacation days. If a freelancer has the flu, he isn’t paid for the time he misses from work and his deadline isn’t adjusted in this task-based economy. On the employer side of the equation, companies report that the pool of qualified candidates for higher level management positions continues to get smaller as the trend for gig workers who freelance from job-to-job increases
The workplace continues to evolve from a traditional 9-5 workday in a traditional office environment to one that is a flexible work cycle in an ever-changing location. Employees place high priority on setting their own rhythm for work flow and prize independence. Employers are encouraged to stay in-tune with the gig economy and to seek ways to marry their company’s needs with the needs of this new workforce population. Both employer and employee can benefit from this new work landscape.