Stress can play a big role in a workplace's productivity. When your employees are stressed, it impacts their health, possibly resulting in their needing to take time off. And while they're at work, it's likely on their minds – have you tried concentrating when your stress levels are high? I know I can't. A stressed workforce can be an unproductive workforce.
The 2016 PWC (Price Waterhouse Cooper) Employee Financial Wellness report1 shows how financial worries are impacting employees:
- 52% of employees find dealing with their financial situation stressful
- Nearly half (45%) say that their stress level - related to financial issues - increased over the last 12 months
- 28% say that issues with personal finances have been a distraction at work (up from 20% last year).
- 17% say financial worries have affected their productivity at work
- 8% admit to having missed work occasionally because of it
But one thing I've realized is that, as employers, we have the ability to have a positive impact on our workers' stress level, and not just for work-related stress.
One way to ease their financial worries is to help ensure your employees know about their rights under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But, according to the 2015 PWC report2, 63% of employers have not provided any tools or resources to help their employees understand the effects of the ACA on their financial health.
Anyone who's looked into the details of the ACA knows that it's a pretty complicated piece of legislation, so finding easy to understand information to pass on to your employees can be tricky. But if you are looking for some resources you can share, here are a few resources I've found useful when putting together information about the ACA for my own employees.
1. Department of Health & Human Services website
This website is a bit of a one-stop shop for Affordable Care Act info. The Health Care section is really easy to navigate and has everything from information on health insurance marketplaces to case studies. There were a few bits I found really useful though. The ‘About the Law' section has a handy summary of the act's key features. The year-by-year overviewand the Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You is a great tool for explaining how health care benefits individuals and how they can find the best care.
2. The YouToons explain Obamacare
If you want something visual to show your employees, I'm afraid there's not a great selection of videos explaining the ACA. However, I do love this cartoon effort from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The ‘YouToons' guide you through the basics of Obamacare and offer some great background information – plus I love the illustrations!
3. Small Business Administration – Myth vs Fact
As with any significant legislation, there are hundreds of ACA myths out there. This handy fact sheet from the US Small Business Administration looks at the facts behind some of the most common myths, including ‘The Affordable Care Act is causing health insurance rates to rise.'
The SBA also has some other great resources if you want to find out more about healthcare reform, including this guide to the small business provisions in the ACA.
4. Obamacare Explained
Sometimes you just want a really simple explanation of something that cuts through all the jargon and sums up the essentials in a few sentences or images. If that's what you're looking for, then look no further than Obamacarefacts.com. The title of the section I always go to says it all, really – ‘Obamacare explained as simply as possible.' The site has collated videos, cartoon strips and explanations that make the ACA easy to understand. My favorite's the ‘Obamacare Explain it Like I'm Five' comic strip. Genius.
Of course, there's always the option to read the law in full too…
1. Price Waterhouse Cooper, “Employee Financial Wellness Survey”, April 2016.
2. Price Waterhouse Cooper, “Employee Financial Wellness Survey”, April 2015.