By Jamie Jones
Senior Account Executive, Benefits
Creating a safe work environment is extremely important for employers, now more than ever, to ensure employees are staying healthy and protecting their co-workers as they return to the workplace. To assist employers with some key considerations and recommendations, insurance carriers are providing external resources, such as symptom checking, connecting with in-network providers, and available testing options, so that employees know what to do, where to go, and what options are available to them to address each unique situation. Testing and screening is essential for monitoring workforce safety and could be an effective way to reduce transmission and maintain healthy business operations and work environments.
If you have an employee who believes they are sick with COVID-19, there are many useful tools and resources available to help. Those tools and resources are available to help check symptoms on their own, find an in-network provider to evaluate their symptoms, or receive further diagnostic testing. People with COVID-19 have shown a wide range of symptoms varying from mild to severe illness, including but not limited to, fever or chills, cough, fatigue, body aches, headache, shortness of breath, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, runny nose, and nausea. While this list does not include all possible symptoms, employees can use the Coronavirus self-checker tool from the CDC website to determine if they are at risk for COVID-19. The purpose of the Coronavirus Self- Checker is to help people make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care. As always, please direct your employees to follow the advice of their health professionals to minimize their chances of catching or spreading the virus.
If healthcare is deemed necessary, virtual medical care is the most convenient and safest way to get the medical attention needed, without leaving home. However, employees may also contact their Primary Care Physician or connect with an in-network provider to determine further testing and treatment options. To visit a COVID-19 testing center, employees may search online in their internet browser by typing “COVID-19 Testing Sites Near Me,” or they may obtain an at-home testing kit which generally provides results within fifteen minutes. Whichever testing or screening method is selected, taking preventive measures to protect yourself and others is extremely important.
As the insurance carriers continue to provide screening and testing updates, please remember that this article is intended to provide general guidance for employers, so that employees can better understand their healthcare options during this time of uncertainty. The Bottoms Group will continue to share all resources and tools available, so that you feel comfortable and informed on how to best keep your workforce and organization safe.