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Addressing adversity in your business during uncertain times

Wellmark's got your back.

The world as we once knew it is changing — creating uncertainty at every intersection. Here's the thing, life is uncertain, it’s unpredictable, a little messy, and simply unfair at times.

But, our country has a history of handling the most unprecedented of times by rolling up our sleeves and never backing down to a challenge. Each generation of your workforce has experienced periods of hard times and uncertainties, but collectively as a nation, we came out on the other side stronger than ever.

You, your business and your employees can come out stronger than before, too. It’s just a matter of tackling adversity head-on. And, as a Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield member, you’ll never have to worry about going through uncertain times alone.

Get important health plan updates regarding COVID-19.

Wellmark's top priority is to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, and preserve access to health care. View important updates and get answers to questions regarding COVID-19 here Opens in a new window.

Uncertain times create disruptive scenarios you may have not needed to address in the past

Consider these different ways to adjust when adversity strikes.

  1. Over-communicate

    During a time of uncertainty, the best thing you can do for your employees is over-communicate. We promise your employees will be more thankful for over-communicating, rather than leaving them to speculate and worry. Consider these quick tips for communicating with your team during uncertain times.
    1. Be as transparent as possible

    2. Give constant feedback

    3. Get regular status on tasks, projects and deadlines from each employee

    4. Make quick and calculated decisions

  2. Set boundaries for sensitive topics

    Your employees are unique and process things differently, so know the boundaries to set with what could be considered sensitive topics. Whether it’s something in the news, political, economic, or the nature of your business — always gut check with yourself (or a peer) if it’s the appropriate time to talk about it.
  3. Create a sense of normalcy

    Even if you are working remotely, you can still get together for team building activities or regular touch bases that occur when you’re in the office. Thankfully, there are various tools and technologies that keep us connected like Zoom, Rocket Chat External Site, WebEx External Site, and GoToMeeting External Site to name a few. Consider these ideas for creating normalcy in your day-to-day away from the office.
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  • Schedule regular mentor/mentee sessions
  • Hold well-being competitions (Examples: stair or step challenges, themed workouts)
  • Encourage any kind of regular and frequent movement (Examples: every 30 minutes you hold a plank for 1 minute, do 10 push-ups, or walk around your living space).
  • Set up virtual coffee chats to ease into the morning and get aligned for the day.
  • Schedule virtual team happy hours that are focused on team building, games and—most importantly—no talking about work.
  1. Reinforce the benefits available to your employees

    1. Doctor On Demand®

      Say one of your employees is feeling sick but doesn’t want to get out of bed to see the doctor — or simply doesn’t have access to a doctor’s office nearby. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Doctor On Demand offers virtual visits External Site External Site with board-certified physicians for several minor ailments, run-of-the-mill cold or flu to headaches, skin conditions to mental health support. By logging in to the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit, you can share the virtual visits intranet/newsletter article with your employees by downloading form number M-2020620.

All Wellmark members will have access to virtual health care visits, including those for mental health reasons, with no cost-share until June 16, 2020. Learn more >> Opens in a new window

    1. BeWell 24/7SM

      Your employees can get connected with real people who can help with a variety of health-related concerns no matter time or day. Whether it’s coordinating appointments, managing complex situations, getting a second opinion and more. Add the "Know where to get care" infographic to an all-employee email or intranet article by downloading form number M-2019117 on the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit.
    2. myWellmark®

      With myWellmark, your employees have all the health care tools and resources available to them with a simple click of a button — which leaves you with fewer questions to answer. Employees can scope the quality of care in the area, choose the right provider and know where to get care.

      Use the myWellmark promotional kit PDF File, which can also be found on the Wellmark Marketing Toolkit Opens in a new window, to explore the different ways you can deliver the information to your employees.

    3. BlueSM

      Members and non-members can subscribe at Wellmark.com/BlueSubscribe to receive a monthly e-newsletter with relevant well-being information Opens in a new window, stories to inspire you and tips to get active and eat well.
    4. Blue365®

      Wellmark customers get exclusive access to Blue365 — a site that features discounts and resources on anything from fitness equipment and activity to apparel and nutrition.
  1. Encourage health and well-being

    During stressful times, your employee’s health and well-being may fall by the wayside. But, it’s times like these when it’s important to focus on and care for our mental and physical health. Consider these free well-being resources to support both you and your employees during times of adversity and change:
  • Well-being specific content on Blue@Work

    We have a whole page dedicated to well-being, insights, resources and tips to help keep your employees happy, healthy and engaged — even if they’re working remotely. Check it out!
  • Three months free of our WellBeing@Work

    We’re offering our buy-up WellBeing@Work monthly newsletter for free so you can share it with your employees for the next three months. All you have to do is email wellbeing@wellmark.com Send Email. and we’ll send you a packaged newsletter each month.

What to do when you cut hours, employees, or shut down your operations temporarily

No employer wants to willingly cut back on hours, let employees go, or shut down operations — even if it’s temporary. However, if you’ve exhausted all other avenues, it’s important to know your options when it comes to supporting your employees and your business during times of change and uncertainty.

You’ve already got a lot on your plate, we’re here to take the burden and stress off your shoulders during these times. We’ve rounded up everything you need to know.

  1. Stop-loss coverage

    If you have a stop-loss policy with Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, you have several different billing options to suit your specific financial situation. *Coverage for COVID-19 treatment and testing is covered under Wellmark’s stop-loss policy.
  2. COBRA continuous coverage

    If you provide health insurance benefits to your employees, you may also be responsible for offering COBRA continuation coverage in certain circumstances. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives your employees the right to temporarily pay premiums for and receive your health insurance coverage after certain qualifying events.
  3. Small business guide External Site

    Eight recommended tips for small business owners to mitigate risk, protect employees and support customers.
  4. Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Programs External Site

    A breakdown of all the federal programs and aid for small business coronavirus assistance.

We’re here for you, your business and your employees

At Wellmark, we are here to support you, your business and employees. We encourage you subscribe to News from BlueSM to get timely and relevant tips, tricks and insights on how to better administer your current health care plan to keeping your employees happy, healthy and engaged.

Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark account representative, or email us at blueatwork@wellmark.com Send Email.