This post is part of our “Dear E.B.” series, in which Mercer’s very own advice columnist (“E.B.,” for Employee Benefits) responds to questions concerning health and well-being that are on the minds of employees across the country.
I’ve just been given a clean bill of health after a bout with cancer and couldn’t be more grateful for my new lease on life. But “Me 2.0” is faced with two questions and I just don’t know where to begin. First, my doctor and care team have encouraged me to adopt a strict and healthy diet. I want to do this but need motivation and guidance about how to avoid the typical holiday unhealthy indulgences. And then there’s the issue of the medical bills. I found a shoebox full of receipts and “EOBs” from various doctors and hospitals generated throughout my treatment. With all of my energy focused on getting well, I just couldn’t focus on making sense of it all, but now realize that even if Me 2.0 had a PhD, it would still be overwhelming. My employer offers a bunch of programs and services, but I just don’t know where to start.
Dear Me 2.0,
Cheers to a new year and a healthy, new you! Your employer offers an Advocacy solution, which is a great place to start with both of your questions. Your dedicated health advocate will be able to help you decide which of the many programs offered by your employer would be the best fit -- whether that be a coaching program, a digital nutrition tracker, heathy coupon perks, or even finding group counseling options in your community. You can also offload the burden associated with reconciling your medical bills to your health advocate, who will ensure everything has been processed appropriately. If there are items needing additional exploration, it will be taken care of on your behalf. Forming a relationship with your health advocate now is a really good idea; these resources are helpful in times of health, but are trained and standby ready to help in times of real medical need by helping you navigate the complex health care system.
Advice by Renya Spak, a consultant in Mercer’s Chicago office.