Preparing for Cold & Flu Season
With the changing temperatures, cold and flu season is not far behind. Preventative measures help keep these contagious respiratory illnesses at bay while employee benefit programs offset the out-of-pocket expenses.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides resources on prevention, symptoms, treatment, and diagnoses for Common Colds and Influenza, as well as flu vaccines. CDC recommends annual flu vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older by the end of October, when influenza activity often increases. Getting the flu vaccine could prevent you from getting the flu, or lessen the symptoms, while protecting the people around you, especially babies and young children, older people, and those with certain chronic health conditions.
Employees and dependents covered by Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) can get a flu vaccine at low or no cost. Insurance provider websites list covered health care expenses, medical provider directories, and other resources. Visit the FEHB page or Office of Personnel Management’s Healthcare and Insurance for additional information.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS) can be used to offset the out-of-pocket costs associate with preventive measures and health care. The list of eligible expenses has expanded to include personal protective equipment, over-the-counter medicines, and hygiene products. Visit FSAFEDS check out the recent additions to eligible health care services and products.