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Financial Stress

How Does It Impact Your Health?

We all know that life can be stressful. Most of us agree that when we're under stress, our mood, health, and relationships suffer. But is stress really that dangerous?

Periodic stress is normal and can be beneficial. It can be a catalyst for action, creating a sense of urgency and helping us perform at a higher level. But when stress is consistent and unrelenting in our lives, it becomes mentally and physically draining.

Worried young woman working on a laptop.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, too much stress can cause:

  • Aches and pains
  • Exhaustion and sleeplessness
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Sexual performance issues
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Lower immunity

Many people cope with chronic stress in unhealthy ways, including:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Compulsive behaviors, shopping, internet browsing, and gambling
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Smoking

These negative behaviors lead to additional health risks and can complicate our lives even further.

Why are we feeling so stressed?

Worrying about financial matters is the No. 1 reason for our sleepless nights.

According to a March 2022 survey by the American Psychological Association, 72 percent of Americans worried about their finances in February 2022. A similar percentage of Americans ranks financial concerns as their No. 1 source of stress in life.

What's squeezing our bank accounts? According to the CFP Board's Heart + Mind Survey, the cost of health care tops the list. And, according to Investopedia, medical expenses are the No. 1 reason people file for bankruptcy.

It can be a vicious circle. Illness, lack of sleep, and negative behaviors brought on by stress can lead to missed time from work and higher medical expenses, which increase the financial pressure.

Health benefits can help

A robust group benefits package can help reduce financial stress for businesses and their employees:

  • Health coverage: Health coverage can help reduce worries about medical costs. The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits is specially designed to provide affordable health benefits for businesses with 2 to 500 employees. With more than 10,000 plan designs, Allstate Benefits can often help small- and mid-sized companies offer group health coverage at a lower cost without sacrificing quality. This helps protect both employers and their plan members from financial stress!
  • Telehealth benefits: Offering telehealth benefits can help reduce financial stress in several ways. Telehealth programs may provide medical care at a lower cost and those that include talk therapy services can help employees find positive ways to cope with stress of all kinds. Allstate Benefits offers MeMD® telehealth services with most self-funded plans.

    Virtual Urgent Care and Talk Therapy visits are available through MeMD.
    • Urgent Care: U.S. board-certified doctors and medical providers are available 24/7/365 to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication1 for many minor illnesses and injuries via phone and/or video visits.
    • Talk Therapy: For members 18 years+. Licensed therapists can help with a wide range of mental and emotional health needs. Receive ongoing support, on your schedule, from the comfort of your home via phone and/or video visits in as little as 48 hours.
  • Provider search tools: Our Core Value and Select Path plans include easy-to-use online tools that can help health plan members find high-quality, lower-cost providers that are close to home, reducing medical costs for everyone.
  • Stop-loss coverage: If your group's claims are higher than expected, stop-loss coverage protects your business's assets. Employers can sleep tight without worrying about budget-busting claims. And, stop-loss coverage is included with our Self-Funded Program!
  • Employer refund: If a group's claims are lower than the balance in your claims account, employers may receive a refund of a portion of the difference at the end of the plan year. About 60 percent of our groups receive a refund!2 It's just one more way Allstate Benefits helps to rein in costs.
  • Vitality Wellness Program: Allstate Benefits now offers access to the Vitality Wellness Program. This program encourages participation in healthy, stress-reducing activities, which can reduce medical costs for everyone!3

To learn more about our Self-Funded Program, call your Allstate Benefits – Group Health sales consultant at 877-225-5077.

Footnotes:

1 MeMD offers medical consultations, behavioral health counseling, and talk therapy services via telehealth to patients nationwide. Services are provided in accordance with state law by physicians, nurse practitioners, and other licensed professionals. When medically necessary, MeMD providers may prescribe medication that patients can pick up at a local pharmacy. Virtual Urgent Care visits are not a replacement for a primary care physician or annual physical exam.

2 In years when claims are lower than expected, a portion (or all, depending on the plan selection) of the difference between the group's anticipated and actual claims is refunded back to the employer. Refund is subject to any applicable Terminal Liability Coverage fee. Percentage of groups that receive a refund is based on the percentage of groups that received a refund for plan years 2017 through 2019.

3 Vitality is available with most plans and fees may apply. Vitality is not available in Washington.

The Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program 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.

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