604.921.4042 info@eaglefinancial.ca

Shingles and the Shingles Vaccine

Shingles and the Shingles Vaccine

If you had chickenpox as a kid, you may remember hearing that if “you catch it once and you won’t catch it again”. Well, that is partially true. Once you have had chicken pox, you might not catch the virus again, but that’s only because it never really went away.
The virus that causes chicken pox (varicella zoster virus) stays dormant within the nerve cells and can become active again later in life in the form of Shingles.
What is Shingles? How do you get it? How do you treat it? Can you prevent it? Not to worry, we will go over everything and more in this newsletter:
  • What is Shingles?
  • Symptoms of Shingles
  • How it’s Spread
  • The Risks of getting Shingles
  • Treatment and Prevention
  • What is the Shingles Vaccine?
  • Who Should get the Shingles Vaccine?
  • Where and how to get the Shingles Vaccine
  • The Cost of the Vaccine and Coverage

What is Shingles?

Shingles is a painful disease characterized by a painful rash with blisters. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus remains latent inside people’s nerve cells after contracting chickenpox and is sometimes reactivated later in life causing shingles.
Symptoms of Shingles
Some of the symptoms include tingling, itching of the skin that can turn into a rash with blisters. Usually all in one strip in the body, however it can appear anywhere in the body often being confused for a muscle condition at first. Early onset symptoms can also include headache, fever, chills and nausea. The rash itself can last for 2 to 4 weeks.
How it’s Spread
You cannot get Shingles unless you have had chicken pox. Shingles cannot be spread by coughing or sneezing. However, if you have never had chicken pox, or the chicken pox vaccine, you can get Shingles if you come into contact with opens blisters of the Shingles infection. Once the blisters crust over, the person can no longer spread the disease.
The Risks of Getting Shingles
Some people, approximately 1 in 5, will have pain even after the rash goes away. This pain is called “post-herpetic neuralgia” and can last months and in some cases, years. Another complication of Shingles is that it can affect the cornea, impairing vision.

Other issues that can arise, but are rarer, are an increase in the chance of a stroke, scarring,  pneumonia, loss of hearing or vision, swelling of the brain and superinfections of the rash caused by bacteria.

The Treatment and Prevention

Once you have developed Shingles, unfortunately there is no miracle cream that can make it go away. At best, if you have Shingles, your doctor may be able to prescribe you some anti-viral medication that can help lessen the symptoms if taken within the first 72 hours. Antihistamines can help lessen the itching as well as pain medication such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. If you do have shingles, make sure to cover up your blisters so as to not spread it to anyone else.

The best way to handle Shingles is prevention. To prevent your children from developing Shingles as adults, make sure they receive the Chickenpox Vaccine. As an adult who has not received the chickenpox vaccine as a child or has been previously infected with Chickenpox, the Shingles Vaccine would help prevent you from developing the disease.

The Shingles Vaccine

Currently, the only available vaccine in Canada for Shingles is the Shingrix® vaccine. The vaccine prevents more than 90% of Shingles cases in adults 50 years and older. In adults who are 18 and older with compromised immune systems, the vaccine is 70-90% effective in preventing the disease.

Some side affects have been known to occur with getting the vaccine but are usually mild. Some of those symptoms are soreness and swelling at the area of the vaccine was given; headache, fever, chills, muscle fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms if they occur usually go away in a few days. Serious side affects are very rare.

Who Should get the vaccine?

Roughly 1 out of 3 people will get Shingles in their lifetime and it is more common in people who are over the age of 50 and those who have a weakened immune system due to medication or disease. However, anyone who has had chickenpox can develop Shingles. The Public Health Agency of Canada and Immunize BC recommends the following people should get the vaccine:

 

  • If you are 50 years or older and you have had;
    • Chickenpox.
    • Shingles.
    • Previously received the live Shingles virus (they are no longer available in Canada).
    • Are unsure if you have had chickenpox in the past.
    • Are immunocompromised.
  • If you are 18 years or older and are immunocompromised.

Before getting the vaccine, you should discuss with your doctor or nurse practitioner whether it is right for you.

Where and how to get the Shingles Vaccine

Most pharmacies and travel clinics carry the vaccine and can be purchased directly without a prescription. At the pharmacy or clinic, the pharmacist, nurse, or physician will dispense the vaccine to you. The vaccine comes in two doses usually taken 2 to 6 months apart, and both doses must be taken for it to be effective.

The Cost of the Vaccine and Health Benefits Coverage
Unfortunately, the Shingles Vaccine Shingrix® is currently not publicly funded in BC, Alberta or the Northwest Territories. However, the Shingles vaccine is fully covered in the Yukon. In BC, Shingrix® is about $160 per dose and some private health benefit providers may cover the cost of the vaccine. For First Nations and Indigenous individuals in BC, the First Nations Health Authority does provide coverage for elders 60 years and older.
How to Find out if the Shingles Vaccine is Covered by Your Benefits Plan

To find out if your private health benefits cover the shingles vaccine you can speak with your pharmacist to find out.

As always, if you have any questions or need some assistance, we are here to help. Click the button below to get in touch.

COVID-19: Support Options For Economic Development Corporations & Indigenous Businesses

Shortly after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11 2020, the Government of Canada shut down the economy to combat the spread of Coronavirus.

Like many other businesses, First Nations Development Corporations, Medium and Small-sized non-essential companies took a big hit; revenues and sales dropped significantly. Some organizations had to layoff employees, and others had to close their businesses permanently.

 

On March 18, 2020, to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19, the federal government announced its $82B COVID-19 Emergency Response Package for individuals and businesses struggling with the economic effects of the Coronavirus.

 

If your business has been facing financial difficulties due to the pandemic, we suggest you review the list below that summarizes different types of financial support that are available to your Indigenous business due to COVID-19. It is an excellent source of information that is compiled by the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of BC(AFOABC).

[wptb id=215572]

*Eligible employees are individuals employed in Canada during the claim period except if there was a period of 14 or more consecutive days in that period where they did not receive any pay from you. Employee eligibility is based on whether the person is employed in Canada, not where they live.

**Eligible remuneration is salary, wages and other taxable benefits, fees and commissions. Severance pay and items such as stock option benefits or the personal use of a corporate vehicle are not part of eligible remuneration.

Information in this table has been gathered from https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html#businesses

Still have questions?

If you need more information, please visit Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and read more detailed information about the financial support options that are available to your business.

Premium Deduction For Dental and Extended Health Care Due to COVID-19

Premium Deduction For Dental and Extended Health Care Due to COVID-19

Dear Plan Administrators,

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many dental and health practitioners have been forced to close. As a result, the use of dental and some other extended health care benefits have declined.

Canada`s three major insurance companies, Sun Life, Canada Life and CINUP have recently announced premium deduction for dental and non-drug-related extended health care benefits for their group insurance clients.

Sun Life Financial

Here are the changes Sun Life is making for all non-refund clients:

  • Dental: 50% dental premium credit per month.
  • Extended Health Care: 20% premium credit on the non-drug coverage portion of extended health care benefit premium

Sun Life is going to apply the April credit to your June 1 invoice and will continue to assess the situation on a monthly basis. For more information, please visit SunLife.ca

 

Canada Life

  • Dental: 50% premium reduction adjustment will be applied.
  • Vision: 20% premium reduction adjustment will be applied.
  • Healthcare (excluding drugs): A 20% premium reduction adjustment will be applied.

Canada Life is going to apply the premium credit retroactive to April 1, 2020. May premium reduction adjustments will be completed on the June billing.

For more information, please visit Canadalife.com

CINUP

CINUP recognizes the impacts of the pandemic and the ability for plan members to utilize their dental and extended health benefits.

CINUP is providing the following credits, retroactive to April 1st, on May 2020 billing:

  • Dental: 50% premium reduction adjustment
  • Extended Health: 10% premium reduction adjustment

Your June bill will show the credits applied for April, as well as the full premium for June. The credits will be monitored monthly and you will be notified of any changes.

 

For any questions and more information, please contact our group benefits managers, Mina Dingle or Kathy Cordonier. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Mina Dingle

Account Manager

Group Benefits

Kathy Cordonier

Account Manager

Group Benefits

Update on Operations at Eagle Bay Financial Services

Update on Operations at Eagle Bay Financial Services

EagleBay_Virtual_Staff_Meeting_Covid19

Earlier next week, we will surpass 1 month of altered operations and work from home.
We are pleased to report that all our clients remain in business and are continuing to operate, albeit in unusual circumstances.

 

We were quickly able to shift our service model and continue to interact and support our clients via email, telephone, Zoom conferencing and other media. Our switchboard is operating normally. You can also reach your support team directly on their mobile devices or by email. We are striving to prioritize and respond to your queries as quickly as possible. We continue to keep a close eye on financial markets and the operational changes that insurers are experiencing.

 

This week we have also welcomed the newest member of our team and we thank you all for your kind words of welcome to Kate Madden. We are so pleased to have her join our team.

 

We know that you provide vital services to your organization and to your community and we recognize that you all are experiencing unique challenges in navigating the pandemic.

 

Thank you for your continued support during COVID-19 & please “Stay Safe”.

 

Best Regards

Nick & Ida Calla and Eagle Bay Financial Services Team

Eagle Bay Financial Services & CINUP Now Offers Teladoc, Virtual Health Services To Clients

Eagle Bay Financial Services & CINUP Now Offers Teladoc, Virtual Health Services To Clients

Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine services became the most convenient and easy access to quality healthcare when and where members need it most.

As Eagle Bay Financial Services, we are excited to announce CINUP’s, one of Canada`s leading insurance companies, partnership with Teladoc™ Health.

Effective immediately, Teladoc telemedicine services will be included for all employees who hold CINUP Extended Health Care coverage. Members can visit with a Canadian certified physician by phone or video for a broad array of episodic healthcare issues. During the visit, employees can receive a diagnosis, treatment recommendation, and even be prescribed medicine when necessary. With Telemedicine Services, members can stop waiting for care and get back to feeling better, faster.

 

Teladoc : Offering a New Front Door To Healthcare In Canada

Teladoc is the global leader in virtual care, providing convenient access to high-quality healthcare for millions of people in more than 130 countries. With Teladoc, your employees can talk with a doctor within an hour by phone or video conference from wherever they are, in Canada or the US, for non-emergency conditions like the flu, allergies, infections, and much more. Doctors can also prescribe medicine if needed.

  • Is your First Nations community located in a remote area?
  • Up in the middle of the night with a sick child?
  • Or perhaps living or vacationing in a rural location, making it difficult to obtain medical care?
  • Self-isolating and can’t get in to see a doctor?
Teladoc is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Because visits are conducted by phone or video, there are no geographic restrictions to getting to high-quality care from anywhere. Employees simply can download the Teladoc app from Apple or Google Play, complete the quick registration, and request a consultation.

“ Effective immediately, Teladoc telemedicine services will be included for all employees who hold CINUP Extended Health Care coverage. ”

How To Set Up Teladoc Account On Your Smartphone: 4 Easy Steps

Here is how your employees can set up Teladoc services and access licenced physicians easily, within an hour by phone or video.;

  • Download the app:
  • Search for “Teladoc” in the App Store or on Google Play.

  • Set up your account:
  • Once you’ve downloaded the app, select “Set up your account.”

  • Enter necessary contact information:
  • Type in your name, date of birth, and postal code

  • Type in your security information:
  • Select your coverage, create a password, type in your phone number, and agree to the terms and conditions.

    For more information, you can also call 1-888-983-5236 or visit Teladoc.ca

Employees demand better benefits from their employers, and due to COVID-19, virtual health services became a vital part of health care delivery. Teladoc is designed to help you, your employees and their dependents to receive the medical treatment they need. It is a perfect solution, specifically with the distinct needs of an employer like you in mind. We know your employees are your most valuable asset, so we continually look for more ways to protect them. Teladoc will ensure the best medical support is always at their fingertips.

For more information on how to add Teladoc to your CINUP employee benefits program, you can reach our Managers Mina Dingle or Denise Perry.

Mina Dingle

Account Manager

Group Benefits

Kathy Cordonier

Account Manager

Group Benefits

Managing “Medical & Recreational Cannabis” in Your Workplace

Managing “Medical & Recreational Cannabis” in Your Workplace

Managing “Medical & Recreational Cannabis” in Your Workplace

It’s been more than couple of months since recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada, and the country hasn’t gone up in smoke (pun intended). Although it’s still early days, and therefore impossible to know the full impact on workplaces, there’s no doubt that managing cannabis in the workplace is going to be on employer’s minds as we look towards 2019. Below, we’ve outlined a couple of key things to continue to watch for:

“Legalization
of recreational
cannabis
does not give
employees
the right to be
impaired at
work.”

Employer Obligations: Medical & Recreational Cannabis

Employers have several obligations to workforce, and cannabis is no exception.

1. Duty to Accommodate

Employers have a legal duty to accommodate their employees until the point of undue hardship for a disability and its treatment. This duty extends to employees using medical cannabis (but not recreational cannabis) in the same way accommodation would be required for any other disabled employee who has been prescribed medication for their condition.

Example: an employee who has been prescribed medical cannabis to reduce symptoms of nausea from chemotherapy treatment.

2. Provide a Safe Environment

Employers must provide a workplace that is safe for all employees, and every reasonable precaution must be taken to protect their health and safety.

Example: A forklift operator prescribed medical cannabis may be required accommodation, such as performing a different role, while taking prescribed medication due to their role being deemed a safety sensitive role. This is to protect the employee and other employees from a potential accident in the workplace and meet the requirement of zero tolerance for this role.

Medical Cannabis At Work: Four Things Employers & Employees Should Know

Employers and employees alike should note that a prescription for medical cannabis DOES NOT entitle an employee to:

  • be impaired at work;
  • compromise his or her safety, or the safety of others;
  • smoke in the workplace – anti-smoking laws apply to cannabis in the same way they do to regular cigarettes;
  • unexcused absences or late arrivals.
Spotting Impairment in the Workplace

One of the biggest challenges for employers will be spotting impairment from the use of cannabis. There is no standard definition of impairment, and unlike alcohol, there is no current consensus on safe limits for cannabis use.

Adding to this difficulty is the fact that the effects of cannabis on individuals varies widely. Factors such as frequency of use, height and weight, sex, and the level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can affect a person’s level of impairment. However, there are some common observable effects, such as:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Impaired learning and memory
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in normal mood or behaviour

It should be noted that the legalization of recreational cannabis does not give employees the right to be impaired at work. Employers will have to set rules for non-medical use of cannabis. A good “rule of thumb” is to adopt the same stance as alcohol in your workplace.

Updating and Crafting a Drug and Alcohol Policy

A drug and alcohol policy outlines the rules and restrictions of legal and illegal substances for employees and is an essential workplace policy. With the legalization of recreational cannabis, employers will need to update their drug and alcohol policies to include it.

However, the impact of this change need not be significant. In fact, if an employer already has a drug and alcohol policy in place, a simple amendment to include recreational and medical cannabis (if not already present) may be all that is required.

For those employers who do not have a drug and alcohol policy in place, there is no time like the present. Insurance companies make specific recommendations for what to include in your policy. You can review and download Benefits by Design`s downloadable pdf booklet, “Managing Cannabis in the Workplace” from the link below.

Other Newsletters

Being Proactive with Group Critical Illness Insurance

Being Proactive With Group Critical Illness Insurance- Indigenous Organizations- First Nations
Critical Illness insurance is a “Living Benefit” that provides employees with a Tax-Free lump sum payment upon diagnosis of a critical illness. It is in place to cover them for up to 30 qualifying conditions.  Some group benefits plans may also extend Critical Illness coverage to dependents.  Employees do not have to provide medical evidence to obtain Group Critical Illness.  Group Critical Illness is often much more affordable than individual Critical Illness policies.
Critical Illness insurance is designed to mitigate financial struggles when an individual is unexpectedly diagnosed with a life threatening condition such as:
  • Cancer
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
    Surgery
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • and many others.
If employees or their dependants experience a critical illness, the priority will be their health. They may need extra money because of income loss, medical expenses not covered by government plans, home or automobile modifications, alternative care costs and many other unexpected expenses.

 

According to 2017 Canadian Cancer Statistics released by the Canadian Cancer Society, due to tremendous progress in cancer treatment, there have been big gains in survival rates. However, 277,000 people a year will be diagnosed with cancer by 2030 – a 40% rise in cases – led by upsurges in prostate and colorectal cancer cases.

“ It is important to help employees when they need it the most ”

However, a study released by BC Cancer Agency indicates that First Nations men and women experience a higher occurrence of colorectal cancer in age-standardized incident rates. There also appears to be a trend towards increasing numbers of cancer cases for both sexes. For example, the risk for colorectal cancer increases with age, but several lifestyle factors have been linked to the disease, including eating a diet high in red and processed meats, a lack of dietary fibre, a lack of physical exercise, obesity, alcohol, and smoking. Lifestyle changes might be the reason why incidence rates of cancers are rising in adults under 50.
In light of this information, management teams should ask this question to themselves: “Is it important to help employees when they need it the most?”

The Science and Software to Make Your Team Happy and More Productive at Work : Gamification

Organizations have seen the rapid ascent of computing technology for employee well-being in the last two decades. This includes a broad range of applications, employees monitoring and managing their own health, and with games transforming long periods of unrewarding work to something fun.
Organizations have seen the rapid ascent of computing technology for employee well-being in the last two decades. This includes a broad range of applications, employees monitoring and managing their own health, and with games transforming long periods of unrewarding work to something fun.

The term called ‘Gamification’ became popular in the early 2010s, and since then this engaging and behaviour developing new approach is changing our work lives. With Gamification, organizations can;

• transform long periods of unrewarding work to something much more fun by enhancing the overall employee engagement and retention ,

• invest in organizational success by opening new pathways for employees and managers to understand each other’s values and helping managers to create successful teams,

• and make behavioral changes promoting good-natured competition for employees to achieve physical and financial wellness goals. When an employee is hungry, reaching for an apple instead of a candy means mastery, autonomy, and control which are the same motivations for a gamer.

Question is can managers reward their employees with their achievements while lowering healthcare costs and decrease absenteeism?

However, the question is can managers reward their employees with their achievements while lowering healthcare costs and decrease absenteeism?

According to Ross Smith, the Director of Test, Skype at Microsoft, it can be accomplished; however, the attendance to the games should be voluntary. Determining what make things fun for employees is the challenge that managers need to solve. However, once it is figured out, the games increase participation rates and creates transparency and high trust within the organization.

A few years ago, Sun Life Financial created an online tool that incorporates gaming principles to teach plan members about retirement and savings. Users learn about topics at various stages and must pass knowledge quizzes in order to advance. They can also compare themselves with other players on leaderboards and share their progress through social media.

Seeing the benefits of Gamification urge insurance companies to embrace gamification as well. In light of this, one of Canada`s Employee Assistance providers Morneau Shepell released a program called ‘Getting to Your Gold’. The program is specifically designed to help motivate behavioural changes while connecting co-workers and Olympic athletes through an engagement program.

The primary objective of Getting to Your Gold program is to maximize employee engagement for employees` own health outcomes. In order to make it accessible to users, the program is hosted on an online portal that houses different Olympic spirit-themed challenges, athlete videos, health & wellness polls and expert advice. With this program employee engagement and total wellbeing are optimized through fun and informative Olympic spirited challenges.
• Physical Activity,

• Nutrition,

• Rest / Sleep,

• Mental Wellness.

Increasingly, we are turning to technology to support our health, and this is not likely to change anytime soon. Insurance carriers are incorporating this new approach to help their clients and examples show fun games can influence and sustain changes in healthy behaviour. Managers need to rethink how gamification can change workplace wellness from employee’s perspective because occupational, emotional and physical wellness should be the goal of our business model today.

CINUP Partnership

Eagle Bay Financial Services is proud and honored to announce that it has entered into an agency agreement with CINUP, as an authorized distributor in British Columbia.

CINUP is regarded as the premier multi-employer First Nations Benefit Plan in Canada. Because of its national scope and large scale operations, it enjoys preferred pricing and plan designs that meet the unique needs of its First Nations client base. This is one of the many reasons Eagle Bay has selected CINUP as one of its Group Benefits providers.

Eagle Bay and its First Nations clients in B.C. requires employee benefits with plan designs that meet ever-changing needs, such as the changes to the NIHB program delivered by First Nation Health Authority.

This means that Eagle Bay is now able to provide another solution or alternative to its First Nation clients by means of its access to the CINUP Benefits Plan.

This better allows Eagle Bay to deliver products and services that meet the needs of its First Nations client base.

Please contact us anytime to provide you more information and see how we can assist you with your needs. We are happy to assist.

Nick Calla

President

Top 3 Myths About Employee Assistance Programs

 

Tragic events can happen to anybody; to ourselves, our friends, our family, our children or our colleagues. It is reassuring to know that there is a system in place to help and overcome those difficult times [1].

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides a confidential and voluntary consultation support to employees and their families. It is completely confidential within the limits of the law [2]*. The program can be initiated over the phone, by personal appointment or online and self-guided resources.

Today the services are very comprehensive and extended to:
• Alcohol & Substance Abuse,
• Residential School and Historical Trauma
• Depression
• Relationship Issues
• Stress and Managing Anger
• Financial and Legal Issues
• Domestic Violence
• Retirement Concerns and Planning
• Mental Health Issues
• Workplace Conflict and many more…

The main goal for the program is not to punish employees but rather to:
• Encourage them to receive services needed to deal with personal issues
• Provide advice and consultation to managers and supervisors
• Promote healthy work-personal life balance
• Maintain and promote a positive work environment
• Increase employee engagement.

Today, employers explain EAP is a proactive, preventive effort to help employees identify and resolve personal issues before they have serious medical, family, and/or workplace consequences. The program also provides advice and consultation to managers, supervisors, and plan administrators to spot performance and morale issues when they occur, so the company can address the situation appropriately.

Here are some of the most common questions asked by Human Resources and Finance Managers, and business owners regarding Employee Assistance Programs.

Does EAP increase company health care costs?

 Contrary to popular belief, EAP actually Reduces Company Costs. According to Davidson Trahaire Corpsych, with help from EAP, it is possible to increase employee productivity and happiness and still reduce company costs. The company did a survey in 2013 with 4,707 EAP user companies both before and after they had accessed EAP services. The results determined that; •   The average Return on Investment (ROI) due to improvements in employee productivity was around $9,800 per employee per annum, •   ROI due to reduced absenteeism was about $280 per employee per annum. In total, the ROI per employee was more than $10,000. Morneau Shepell also looked at EAP ROI in 2011. According to the study EAP helps with a 25% reduction in health-related lost productivity costs for employers, providing an $8 return on every dollar invested.

It would be great to have EAP but, it is difficult to get everyone on board.

According to Statics Canada, in any given year, it is expected that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health or addiction problem. EAP can always provide professional assistance and guidance to employees. The program is very beneficial because it increases work morale, employee productivity and harmonized work environment while reducing absenteeism, turnover, and conflicts. If employees have access to counseling and support, everyone wins!
In addition, researchers found that EAP lowers sick days and disability claims, and increases work morale and productivity. For companies, the best scenario is to be proactive and provide access to such services like EAP.

 

Implementing an employee assistance program can be costly

The cost of EAP is negligible compared to the loss of productivity and performance in your organization. Like everything, of course, there are costs associated with implementing EAP, however, supporting employees with work-personal life issues; lowering company turnover and absenteeism rate doesn’t cost that much. Right now in BC, the average cost of EAP is $5.00 per employee per month, and the cost varies depending on the size of your company.

As being the decision-makers, you can promote the well-being of your employees in a truly confidential and professional manner. If you and your employees have questions, EAP has the answers!

Before making your final decision, it is better to spend some time and do your own research. However, if you don’t have the time or experience to find the best possible options, then contacting an Independent Financial Advisor can make things easier for you. With the guidance, you can make your decision with confidence.

Contact Us Today to Find the Most Suitable Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for Your Organization!

 

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