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Don't Let the Flu Infect Your Business

Flu season is here and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone 6 months and older, who does not have contraindications, receive the influenza vaccine. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. Cases start to rise in October and peak between December and February.

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While the flu vaccine's effectiveness can vary, studies show that the flu vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the flu by 40 to 60 percent during flu season when the virus circulating matches those that were used to make the vaccine.

With flu season just starting out, it's important to remind employees that the flu vaccine can not only protect themselves from getting sick, it can also help keep others around them healthy.

When employees get the flu, it can make a big impact on businesses

According to the CDC, for 2019-2020, there was an estimated 35 million flu-related illnesses, 16 million flu-related medical visits, 380,000 flu-related hospitalizations, and 20,000 flu-related deaths.

U.S. workers can collectively miss millions of workdays due to the flu and can cost U.S. employers billions of dollars in sick days, lost productivity, medical treatments, and hospitalizations.

Flu vaccine infographic.

How you can encourage employees to get their flu vaccine

Here are some suggestions from the CDC to help encourage employees to get their flu vaccine.

  • Be flexible with employees. Establish policies that allow them to take an hour or two during the day to receive their vaccine.
  • Use promotional posters/flyers about flu vaccination and display them around the workplace in break rooms, cafeterias, and other high-traffic areas. Check out these materials provided by the CDC.
  • Post articles in company communications like newsletters, emails, employee portals, or portals about the importance of flu vaccination and how to find an in-network vaccine provider.
  • Encourage flu vaccination for employees' families by distributing information for employees to take home.

When employees have health insurance, they may be more likely to seek preventive treatment

With group health plans through Allstate Benefits, the flu vaccine is covered as a pharmacy benefit when members use an in-network pharmacy. Members can also get coverage for the flu vaccine through their medical benefits when they see an in-network medical provider.

Protect yourself and your employees this flu season and promote the flu vaccine within the organization.

The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits provides tools for employers owning small to mid-sized businesses to establish a self-funded health benefit plan for their employees. The benefit plan is established by the employer and is not an insurance product. Allstate Benefits is a marketing name for: Integon National Insurance Company in CT, NY and VT; Integon Indemnity Corporation in FL; and National Health Insurance Company in CO, WA and all other states where offered. For employers in the Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program, stop loss insurance is underwritten by these insurance companies in the noted states. National Health Insurance Company, Integon National Insurance Company, and Integon Indemnity Corporation are rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best.

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