Newsroom

Tips for self-care this holiday season

The holiday season is well underway, and for most Americans that means elevated stress, and with increased stress can come sickness, fatigue and depression. Fight the holiday slump this year with these tips for self-care this season.

There are many reasons people feel more stressed and blue during the holidays. There are more activities, pressure to meet families’ expectations, reminders of friends and family you may have lost, and shorter, darker days can exacerbate it all.

That’s why it’s increasingly important for everyone to take time for themselves to make sure they can truly enjoy the festive season. Try just one of these activities this year to see if it helps improve your mood and enjoyment of the season.

  • Keep your exercise routine – With a busier schedule, for most people one of the first things to go is their typical exercise routine. But with all the added activity and dietary indulgences, exercise becomes that much more important as a way to destress and  burn off excess calories.
  • Protect your sleep – Just like exercise, sleep tends to  be something we sacrifice during the holidays, but sleep helps your body recover and keeps your mood up. It’s difficult to enjoy family and friends’ delightful little quirks when you’re exhausted from the activities of the week.
  • Throw out expectations – There’s a lot of pressure at this time of year to create and capture “magical moments” to make a perfect holiday experience. Unburden yourself from these expectations, and you will have an easier time enjoying the moments for what they are.
  • Feel (don’t eat or drink) your feelings – The holidays inevitably bring up strong emotions, including anxiety about new relationships, reminders of family losses or pressure of entertaining relatives. In all of these instances, the instinct can be to eat or drink more than usual. This year try to remind yourself that all of this is normal and try to live in the discomfort of the moment, rather than run from it.
  • Keeps snacks and water with you – This may not be something you do the rest of the year, but in all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, holiday parties and end-of-the-year work expectations you may find yourself out and about having forgotten to hydrate or eat. Keep a high-protein snack in your car or bag as well as a water bottle at the ready to avoid this.

The most important advice for this time of year is really just to give yourself a break. Don’t have enough time to make cookies from scratch? Get some from the store. Too tired to go to a third family holiday dinner? Send your regrets and relax. Caught up worrying if people are having fun at your party? Assume they are and catch up with a friend or family member instead.

All of these are hard to put into practice, but you’ll be thanking yourself come January if you’ve been able to find the joy in the holiday season.

Tips for this article were taken from:
Psycology Today
Lifehack.org
Motherly

Claims department cuts paper use and carbon footprint

All over ClaimLinx, we have been working to cut down on our paper use to improve communication and reduce our carbon footprint. Health insurance tends to be a paper-heavy industry, with enrollment applications, incoming medical claims, documents from providers, invoices, Explanations of Benefits (EOBs) and more.

In looking at the company, we identified cutting down on paper use as a way to help the planet and a way to improve service for our clients and members. The more our process is stored digitally, the more people within the company can see what other team members are doing. We also liked the idea of needing less supplies so we can free up more resources to improve other parts of the company.

The claims and billing departments have been the latest to transition to using less paper. This has required changing some of our processes to depend on transferring items digitally, rather than physically. Last year in the service department, we transitioned our entire implementation process to digital.

Already we have seen this improve communication throughout the company, as multiple team members can now see documents others are working on, instead of single pieces of paper sitting on desks only individuals can see.

We encourage clients to take a similar look at processes at their company to see where they can be transitioned to using less resources. The best part about these adjustments is not only are they good for the planet, but also they often save the company money. Spending less on utilities and office supplies means you can spend more on upgrades to equipment, hiring more employees, training current employees, etc.

See these seven tips for reducing your carbon footprint at the workplace:

  • Turn lights, computers, appliances and other machines completely off at the end of each day or when they are not in use.
  • Try adjusting the thermostat to a few degrees cooler in the winter and a few degrees warmer in the summer.
  • Switch to cloth towels or hand dryers in bathrooms and other wash areas.
  • Cut down on printing by sharing documents digitally, getting electronic signatures or showing documents on a projector for meetings rather than printing.
  • Place recycling bins at central parts of the workplace to serve as a reminder and to make it easy.
  • Encourage staff to bring reusable water bottles, coffee mugs, containers, silverware and plates. You could even invest in a set of office cutlery and dishes.
  • Add new or swap out artificial plants for real ones; they look nice and help purify the air.

Making changes in the office can be difficult. It has been at ClaimLinx as well. We had to take a real look at where we could adjust our processes so they depended on digital resources instead of the paper ones we were used to. That required investments in time and sometimes new software, but we believe this will help our company continue to evolve in the future.

ClaimLinx office closed for Thanksgiving

The ClaimLinx office will be closed at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21 through Friday, November 23 to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. All inquiries will be returned as soon as possible upon our return.

We hope all our clients and members are able to enjoy the holiday with loved ones. Our staff will be prepping and cooking turkeys, chowing down on mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, stuffing and so much more. How will you be spending your Thanksgiving? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram by tagging @ClaimLinx.

To kick off the holiday, read more about Thanksgiving through the years:

  • The first official national Thanksgiving holiday was in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln established an annual Thanksgiving celebration on the last Thursday in November.
  • Abolitionist and author of the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb” Sarah Josepha Hale lobbied President Lincoln for a consistent annual Thanksgiving holiday through a letter-writing campaign for 17 years.
  • Before 1863, presidents had to declare a holiday each year. President Thomas Jefferson was the only one who did not, because he believed in a strict separation of church and state. Since Thanksgiving involved prayer at the time, he thought it violated that principle.
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt decreed in 1939 that Thanksgiving be moved one week earlier in order to extend the holiday shopping season. Many holiday purists did not like the change and only 23 of 48 states adopted the change until November 1941, where it has remained since.
  • The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was in 1924, but it did not include the signature balloons the event is famous for now.  German-American illustrator Anthony Frederick Sarg designed them for the parade for the first time in 1927.
  • In 1953, an employee at C.A. Swanson & Sons overestimated demand for turkey and had an extra 260 tons of frozen birds. As a solution, Swanson cooked them and arranged the meat with cornbread dressing, gravy, peas and sweet potatoes and sold them as individual dinners. Thus the TV-tray dinner was born.
  • The NFL held the first Thanksgiving Classic games in 1920 and since then the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys have always hosted games. In 2006, a third game was added with different teams hosting each year.
  • Butterball started a Turkey Talk Line in 1981 so families would have a resource for cooking their famous birds through the holiday season. Now they typically receive 100,000 calls per season. See what the Butterball team can help you with this year.

From all of our staff, we hope you have a fun and fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday. Our team will be ready to get back to helping clients and members through open enrollment after this welcome pause spent with friends and family.

Above Image Designed by FreePik

Is supplemental coverage right for your company?

Open enrollment has almost arrived, and for most companies that means taking a look at their coverage options. There is one extra question every company should be asking themselves this year: should I be adding supplemental insurance to my benefit plan?

Supplemental insurance is extra or additional insurance you can purchase to help pay for services and out-of-pocket expenses that regular insurance does not cover. Some plans reimburse for expenses incurred, while others pay specific amounts regardless of how much you have paid out-of-pocket. So many people with these policies even get a little extra cash in their pocket in addition to their services paid for.

Examples of policies are Critical Illness, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, Dental, Vision, Life, Accident and more.

We recommend to all of our clients that they add supplemental insurance to ensure employees are truly taken care of in their time of need. Supplemental plans are typically inexpensive and pay quickly so employees can start using the funds to pay incurred medical bills, seek additional treatment or supplement lost income as a result of injury or sickness.

They can also be a great employee recruiting and/or retention tool. In a competitive job market, benefits can be one of the biggest reason an employee chooses to stay at or join your company. Supplemental benefits are not offered by all employers, though they are easy to set up and require little administration from an employer.

One of the best parts about ClaimLinx’s Simple Option Solution is that it creates savings, which companies can use for any number of improvements. It’s a great opportunity to add these policies at no additional cost overall to the company. Employers can select plans for employees or offer employees a monthly dollar amount so they can choose the plans that fit their needs.

These plans pay employees when they need it most. Catastrophic incidents can leave families with thousands of dollars in bills, even with a good insurance plan. Using savings to buy these plans shelters employees from this problem at no additional cost to you.

We tell clients to think of their overall health plan like raising a roof. The major medical plan is the frame that holds it all together. The Section 105 MERP is the outer layer of shingles that prevents leaks and is the part people experience day to day. Supplemental plans are the insulation that keep people protected, warm and comfortable.

Contact sales@claimlinx.com if you’re an employer looking to explore adding supplemental insurance to your plan. Or visit www.claimlinxmarketplace.com to see your options for a supplemental plan.

ClaimLinx reaches Marketplace Elite Circle of Champions

For the 2018 open enrollment period, ClaimLinx joined the Marketplace Elite Circle of Champions. This designation is given to agencies that actively help between 100 to 499 people make plan selections and enroll in coverage.

The award was given for the open enrollment period spanning November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. The next open enrollment period is coming soon, and our insurance agents are already working to get ready for that time. They have completed the required training and registration to begin helping consumers make plan selections for 2019.

ClaimLinx offers two options for individuals looking for health insurance during open enrollment. Anyone can go to ClaimLinxMarketplace.com to start shopping for plans directly from carriers or through the exchange. We also offer a consulting service in which a ClaimLinx agent walks an individual through the application process and helps that person choose a plan.

Our consulting service includes explanations about health insurance plans in general and helping the individual understand his or her new benefits plan. We have found this to be a vital asset for many people when looking for a new plan.

The service can be paid by an individual, or we also recommend this as an option for a company that does not currently provide health insurance but wants to offer its employees help in choosing a health insurance plan. See pricing here.

We offer this service because there’s more to choosing a health plan than simply filling out an application and looking at the price. There are a number of factors to think about. How much do you plan on using the insurance? Do you see any specialists or have any provider network requirements? Do you need any expensive medications throughout the year? Do you qualify for federal subsidies? All of these are important factors in choosing a plan.

If enrolling individuals on an insurance plan through the marketplace is a part of a company’s savings plan, ClaimLinx includes its individual consulting services as a part of the overall Simple Option Solution. Contact our sales team to learn more about your company’s options for savings on health insurance.

See ClaimLinx’s certificate for joining the Elite Circle of Champions.