From the Archives: Top Ten Back-to-School Health Tips

With the school year starting back up now is the time to prepare so that you can make the most of your child’s school experience.

  1. See a doctor and a dentist. Doctors need to see kids regularly to catch problems, be they physical, mental or behavioral, before they become serious. Make sure your child is up to date on all shots. Dentists are a must too. Untreated tooth decay can result in dangerous bloodstream infections. Dental problems are the most common chronic disease in kids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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  2. Tell your child’s school about medicines and health conditions. Most schools require medicines taken during the day be administered by a school nurse, with the exception of inhalers for asthmatics and sugar pills for diabetics. It can be tempting not to tell the school about other medicines, but nurses need to be able to look out for side effects. And not knowing about a potential problem like attention deficit disorder can make it harder for a teacher to understand what may be going on with your child.
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  3. Practice infection control. Wash hands frequently and consider using hand sanitizer. Clean all cuts and scrapes immediately, and shower after athletic activity to prevent staph infections. Don’t share drinking glasses, plates or other personal items. Probiotics may also reduce the risk of some infections, particularly diarrhea.
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  4. Don’t share combs/brushes, hats or other hair accessories. Children have a habit of sharing things with their friends. While sharing is a great concept, children should be taught not to share these items to avoid the spread of head lice – which is more common in children during the school year.
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  5. Keep sick kids home. If a child has a fever, he or she should not go to school. Any potentially contagious infection should also result in a sick day. Make sure that you have child care arrangements set up ahead of time–if everyone kept sick kids home, fewer kids would be sick. Also teach kids to cough and sneeze into the inside of their elbow to prevent germs from spreading.
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  6. Maintain good nutrition. Children need a well balanced diet every day. Good nutrition helps a person’s immune system works at top performance and therefore aids in fighting off germs and viruses. In addition to aiding in the immune system, a well balanced diet is important for brain health as well. Children have longer attention spans and retain more information when they eat healthy.
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  7. Get exercise. Kids need an hour of exercise every day, according to the CDC. With many schools cutting back on recess, this can be tough. Organized sports are one route, but for less athletic kids, an after-school run or walk can make the difference.
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  8. Get plenty of sleep. Kids don’t usually get enough sleep. Children ages 6 to 11 need 10 hours of sleep; teenagers need nine hours. Technology and over-scheduling are usually the big problems here. Establish a regular bedtime and enforce it; keep the TV, video games and computer out of the bedroom. Limit “screen time” to 10 hours a week. People who are sleep deprived are more likely to perform poorly at tasks and more likely to suffer from frequent illnesses.
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  9. Be consistent. In order to sleep, eat and study, kids of all ages need a routine. Schedule time for exercise and homework, and keep things consistent. But many experts say that children these days tend to be over-scheduled, which may lead to stress, nervousness, and even depression.
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  10. Watch mental health too. Especially as they get older, look for changes in behavior and habits that could indicate a problem. Girls can have body image problems as young as elementary school, and eating disorders are not uncommon. Children can get anxious or depressed. Talk to your kids about the risks of alcohol and drug use.

Sterling Named One of Best Places to Work in Insurance

Sterling Administration is pleased to announce that we are among the companies being recognized in this year’s Business Insurance Best Places to Work in Insurance program.

The national Best Places to Work program, now in its sixth year, is a joint effort of Business Insurance and Best Companies Group and involves months of in-depth evaluation. The assessment involves a two-part process. One part, responsible for 75% of a company’s score, involves a confidential employee engagement and satisfaction survey, which is used to evaluate employees’ workplace experience and the company’s culture. The other part, which is responsible for the remaining 25% of the score, consists of an employer questionnaire, which collects information about each company’s benefit programs, policies, practices and other general information.

The Best Places to Work in Insurance program “is dedicated to identifying and recognizing the best employers in the insurance industry.” The companies being recognized this year “have created high-quality workplaces in which employees can thrive and enjoy doing so.”

You can read the entire announcement here.

Check back as Business Insurance will reveal how each company ranked and take a closer look at the 75 companies honored in a special report in their September 29 issue. We will post that update here on the blog.

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About Sterling Administration
Sterling is an independent, privately held company. We offer administration services for HSAs, HRAs, FSAs, POPs and COBRA. We are also experts in compliance services that include ERISA Wrap, Form 5500 Filing, non-discrimination testing, and requirements under the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Founded in 2004, Sterling was a pioneer in the HSA industry and is today considered to be among the top administrators in the country. Sterling is led by experts in the health benefits and healthcare financing industries for one primary purpose – to put employers and consumers in control of healthcare spending and in touch with resources to help manage their money and their health.

We enable employers to control rising health care costs, accountholders and members to get the services they need and save money, and insurance professionals to enhance the range of services they offer to their clients.

Healthcare Reform News: California Governor Signs Waiting Period Bill

Editor note: This article was originally published August 15, 2014 and can be found here.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law legislation to better align the state’s health coverage waiting period requirements with federal law.

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) had established a 90-day waiting period that applies broadly to employers nationwide, California had established a 60-day waiting period. The intent of Senate Bill (SB) 1034, authored by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), is to resolve confusion between the state and federal laws and to better conform to provisions of the ACA.

“We thank the governor for signing this bill, as it will help eliminate the confusion caused by conflicting state and federal waiting periods. Now it will be easier for employer groups to comply with the law,” stated Neil Crosby, Vice President of Public Affairs for the California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) and Director of Sales for Warner Pacific Insurance Services.

SB 1034 is a product of numerous discussions among state regulators, small business groups, health insurance organizations, consumer organizations and CAHU to provide clarity on the allowable waiting periods.

For Employers: Evergreen ERISA Wrap Document for Small Groups

Do you think your group is too small to comply with ERISA regulations? Think again.

No group is too small for this law. Beat the fourth quarter rush and let Sterling help you comply with ERISA requirements by taking advantage of our Evergreen ERISA Wrap Document service.

Limited Time Special Offer:

  • For ERISA Wrap effective dates June 1 – September 1, 2014
  • 5 year Evergreen ERISA Wrap Document
  • Must have less than 100 employees
  • Form 5500 not included and all other services and changes additional

Special pricing ends September 1, 2014. Don’t miss this opportunity. Contact your Sterling Sales Representative or Sterling Client Services Specialist today and let us help make the complex simple.