Define Your Employees’ Health with Specialty Benefits

Humana green logoBy Linda T. Hummel, President of the Employer Group Division Humana in Texas

How do your employees define health? Is it being able to run a mile? Is it being able to zip last year’s jeans? Is it feeling happy or fulfilled?

Health can mean something different to each individual. However, to truly achieve well-being, one must be healthy on several levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and financially.

Therefore, when San Antonio employers are choosing what benefits to offer their workers, it is important for them to realize there is a wide range of specialty insurance products and wellness services available, and each one is designed to help customers achieve lifelong well-being.

Let’s use dental coverage as an example. More than 90 percent of diseases – including heart disease, diabetes and cancer – show up in a mouth first. A dentist is often the first medical provider to find health problems. Good dental care can also lead to savings on medical care. The Journal of Periodontology found that health care costs were 21 percent higher for patients with severe gum disease than for those without gum problems.

Healthy eyes are also an important part of living a healthy and full life. By taking steps to improve your sight and protect your eyes from harm, you have a great chance of seeing and living well for many years.

If a small business cannot afford to sponsor dental or vision insurance for their employees, some benefits providers offer affordable individual plans. Humana, for instance, offers individual dental plans, which cover preventive services with no waiting periods, and an individual vision plan with a $10 co-pay for an eye exam.

The connection between physical health and overall well-being goes beyond a person’s senses. On more than one occasion, you have probably checked your bank account and had an emotional reaction – positive or negative.

During the recent economic downturn, it became increasingly clear that a person’s well-being is tied to financial security. Due to increased interest, health care providers are offering myriad financial protection plans – including critical illness plans that protect individual or family finances during serious illnesses and term life insurance policies for children up to 25 years old – to make financial security a reality.

In addition to simply assisting in your employees’ physical and mental health, these benefits help to reassure them that you are providing a work environment where their well-being and happiness is a priority.

Linda T. Hummel is President of the Employer Group Division for Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) in Texas. A 22-year veteran with Humana, Hummel is responsible for the overall management and strategic planning for Humana’s statewide commercial operations and products, which include health maintenance organizations (HMO), preferred provider organizations (PPO), self-insured plans (ASO), point-of-service plans (POS), Group Medicare plans, specialty benefit products and HumanaVitality, a comprehensive health, wellness and loyalty solution.