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Do Your Finances Feel Out of Control? Tips to Save More and Spend Less

Hoping to get fiscally fit and better manage your finances?

Dedicated to providing small businesses with resources to help keep their employees and their families healthy and well, Business Health Trust offers a free monthly wellness webinar that you can read more about on our Webinars and Resources page.

This month’s training, Getting Fiscally Fit: Save More, Spend Less, provides specific steps you can take to manage your finances and acts as a helpful guide to creating a budget.

Join us at at 11 a.m. September 15, 2023 to get tips on making and sticking to a budget, which is a key step toward getting a handle on your personal finances. Getting started can be the hardest part, especially if the financial situation feels out of control.

Click here to learn more about Business Health Trust’s employee assistance program (EAP) offered by Behavioral Health Services.

Discover Strategies to Stay Motivated and Engaged at Free Webinar Aug. 16

Dedicated to providing small businesses with resources to help keep their employees and their families healthy and well, Business Health Trust offers a free monthly wellness webinar that you can read more about on our new Webinars and Resources page.

Join us in August for a free webinar on Maintaining Motivation at 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 16.

Most people want to change at least one thing in their life, but it can be challenging to find the motivation just to make a start. Join us for a discussion on the importance of motivation in the workplace and discover strategies for staying engaged at work.

Click here to learn more about Business Health Trust’s employee assistance program (EAP) offered by Behavioral Health Services.

Business Health Trust Expands Access with Greater Kitsap Chamber Partnership

Business Health Trust is proud to announce a new partnership with the Greater Kitsap Chamber that makes it even easier for people across Washington state to access our comprehensive, affordable employee benefits to small and mid-sized businesses.

This expansion effective August 1, 2023, complements nearby partnerships already in place throughout Kitsap County and the Olympic Peninsula, including:

Through these and other valuable statewide partnerships, Business Health Trust continues to improve the resources available to small business. We make joining easy and part of your enrollment, just choose your association when you sign up. If your business is outside one of these regions, you can still be covered by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

To learn more, visit our Who We Are page.

Learn Communication Skills to Build a Positive Work Environment at Free Webinar on July 20

Dedicated to providing small businesses with resources to help keep their employees and their families healthy and well, Business Health Trust offers a free monthly wellness webinar that you can read more about on our new Webinars and Resources page.

Join us in July for a webinar on Communication: Professionalism in the Workplace from 11 a.m. to noon PT on Thursday, July 20.

Good communication in the workplace ensures employees have the information they need to perform well and helps to build a positive work environment. This training provides the key factors to maintaining workplace professionalism and provides guidance on how to effectively communicate with difficult people.

Click here to learn more about Business Health Trust’s employee assistance program (EAP) offered by Behavioral Health Services.

Recharge in Nature to Support Your Mental and Physical Health

Finding time to be outdoors can be challenging, especially if you live in an urban area. However, even a short five‑minute break outside can boost your mood and provide numerous health benefits.

This month, Business Health Trust encourages you make the time to head outdoors in its Monthly Wellness Tools, a member benefit to help employers communicate with their employees about issues that are important to their health and well-being.

Here are some tips for motivating yourself to get outside this summer:

  • Find an outdoor activity you enjoy: Discover a hobby or activity that you genuinely find pleasure in doing outside, such as walking, jogging, pickleball, gardening, or photography. You can also take some of your favorite indoor activities outside — like reading a book, eating a meal, or even napping!
  • Make it a social affair: Invite friends, family, or colleagues to join you for outdoor outings, making it a fun and social experience.
  • Explore new surroundings: Seek out different parks, gardens, nature trails, or outdoor spaces in your area to keep things interesting and discover new environments.
  • Make going outside part of your routine: Integrate outdoor time into your daily schedule, such as enjoying morning coffee outside, taking mid-day breaks, or ending the day with a relaxing walk.
  • Keep it simple: Remember that you don’t need extravagant plans or extensive travel to enjoy the outdoors. Even a simple stroll around the block can have a positive impact on your well-being!

To read more, check out Business Health Trust’s July 2023 Toolkit, or get a quote to become a member and have these wellness resources delivered each month to your inbox.

Washington Cares Fund Payroll Withholding Deadline Is Approaching

From Business Health Trust association partner Archbright

In 2020, Washington state passed the nation’s first long-term care insurance program, the Washington Cares Fund, paid for by a mandatory payroll tax. The program was initially scheduled to commence on January 1, 2022; however, at the 11th hour, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation delaying the implementation to July 1, 2023. The 18-month extension was intended to allow the Legislature to make critical improvements to the law, including expanding the reasons for exemption.

As the new implementation date rapidly approaches, most anticipate it will likely not be delayed further. Employers should prepare to withhold the tax from participating employees’ wages in the amount of .58%, or 58 cents per $100 of income. Employers may elect to pay this tax on the employee’s behalf, but the employer is not obligated to pay any amount.

Employees with a private long-term care insurance plan on or before November 1, 2021, were able to apply for an exemption before December 31, 2022. That opt-out provision is no longer available. Employees who opted out of the state program at that time will never be able to opt back in. The Employment Security Department (ESD) has stated that employees can terminate their private insurance plan if their insurance carrier allows it; however, they still cannot opt back into the program.

Starting in 2023, there are new exemption types that eligible employees can apply for, including those who:

  • Live outside of Washington state
  • Temporarily work in Washington with a nonimmigrant visa
  • Are a spouse or registered domestic partner of an active-duty military member
  • Are a veteran with a 70% or greater service-connected disability

Employees may file for the exemption on the Washington Cares Fund website and show any resulting approval letter to their employer to ensure they do not withhold the premium. Employees who no longer qualify for one of these exemptions must notify the ESD and their employer within 90 days. At that point, the employer should reinstate premium deductions, and the employee will be enrolled in the program. The only exception to this is the private long-term care insurance and service-connected disability exemptions, which are permanent.

Quarterly reporting and premium submittal are the same as for Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave — ESD is updating the Paid Leave reporting system so employers can report for both programs simultaneously. While premiums must be collected starting July 1, the first reporting period for Washington Cares Fund begins October 2023.

The long-term care insurance benefits will be available to participants starting July 1, 2026.

For more information, including sample employee communication, Business Health Trust members may utilize their complimentary Archbright access to reference the mozzo Resource Library for Washington Cares Fund Keynote or the HR Hotline. Additionally, the Washington Cares Fund employer website contains a comprehensive library of information, including an Employer Toolkit, Employer FAQs, recorded webinars, sample posters, and more.

Simplify Your Employee Benefits Plan with a July Renewal Date

Did you know that Business Health Trust offers flexible renewal dates that can help lighten your workload at the end of the year? Now is the time to explore the diverse employee benefits plans available through our 11 health trusts with a July 1 anniversary date.

This is a valuable opportunity that allows employers to move the burden of open enrollment to a time that might be easier for you and your employees. Access to a Business Health Trust plan that renews July 1 is available in the following industries:

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Business Services
  • Community Service Organizations
  • Healthcare
  • Information Technology
  • Media
  • Retail
  • Tourism
  • Transportation
  • Wholesaling

As your source for employee benefits, Business Health Trust is focused on simplifying your administration and helping you cut costs. Whether you have two employees or more than 100, we can help you create a benefits program that attracts talent and keeps your employees healthy and productive — at a budget you can afford.

Learn more about the diverse selection of health insurance plans combined with other resources and discounts available through Business Health Trust on our What We Offer page. Questions? Contact or fill out our Request a Quote form.

Get Better Sleep for Better Mental Health

While quality sleep is essential for our physical health, studies show that poor sleeping habits can directly lead to poor mental health as well. Getting the right amount of sleep every night can help your mood, memory and concentration — while sleep deprivation has been linked to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

What you can do

  • Measure how much sleep you get. Most adults need at least seven hours or more of sleep each night. If you are consistently sleeping for less, then it’s time to take appropriate action.
  • Improve your sleep quality. There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep, including:
    • Avoid caffeine past the early afternoons. Substances like nicotine and caffeine take time to wear off completely.
    • Limit electronics before bedtime. Phone and computer screens emit bright lights that trick our brain into thinking it’s daytime. Instead, listen to music or read a book.
  • Sleep consistently. We need a regular sleep schedule in order to fully rest our bodies and minds. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to lose sleep over the night and nap during the day — you simply cannot recover lost hours of sleep.

While it can take time to find a sleeping routine that works for you, it’ll be worth it when your health and well-being improves. Need help? Is poor sleep impacting your mental health? If you need more help, or just want a place to start, visit our Employer Toolkit to download the flyer that best corresponds with your current or prospective Business Health Trust plan.

Smart Snacking Tips for Adults and Teens

Snacks can fit into a healthy eating plan and provide an energy boost between meals, if they’re planned right. To recognize National Nutrition Month this March, Business Health Trust offers resources from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which recommends choosing nutritious foods from the MyPlate food groups to help increase variety and reduce sources of empty calories and added sugars.

Find the right snack for your eating style and activity level. Keeping snacks to 200 calories or less can be a reasonable goal for most people. Adults and teens who are more active, or eat smaller meals throughout the day may want to aim for 200 to 300 calories per snack.

Make snacking a smart habit by:

  • Snacking only when you’re hungry. Eating out of boredom or for emotional reasons can lead to weight gain. Rate your hunger before reaching for a snack and avoid mindless eating.
  • Having snacks planned and portioned out ahead of time. Fixing snacks in advance, like washed and cut-up fruits and vegetables, air-popped popcorn, and low-fat cheese, can save time later on.
  • Practicing food safety. Keep perishable foods refrigerated or in a cooler bag with ice packs to help reduce the risk of food poisoning.

Make snacking simple by choosing different fruits and vegetables, depending on what is in season or on sale. Fresh, frozen, canned, or dried are all good options. Compare labels to limit items high in sodium, saturated fat and added sugars.

Keep your snacking lively by including snacks that contain grains, especially whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. Some examples include fat-free yogurt with fruit, whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese, or raw veggies with hummus.

Eating different combinations of foods can be very satisfying and help to curb hunger. Snacks that include fruit can also satisfy a craving for something sweet.

Ways to make your own convenient and ready-to-eat snacks at home:

  • Make your own trail mix by combining whole grain cereals, unsalted nuts or seeds and dried fruit. (Tip: portion into ¼ cup servings)
  • Blend your own smoothie by adding 1 cup fat-free milk and frozen fruit to a blender.
  • Mix 3 cups air-popped popcorn with grated cheese or dried spices.
  • Bake vegetable chips, like kale or beets.
  • Roast chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) and season with spices.
  • Make a dip using low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt for raw vegetables.
  • Mash an avocado with salsa and eat with whole-grain tortilla chips or spread on a whole wheat tortilla, sprinkle with low-fat cheese, then roll it up and enjoy.
  • Cut up fruit to make kebobs and serve with low-fat yogurt dip.
  • Slice a medium apple and eat with 1 tablespoon of peanut, almond, or sunflower seed butter.
  • Mix equal amounts of fat-free plain or flavored yogurt with 100% fruit juice, then pour into paper cups and freeze for a tasty treat.
  • Top graham crackers with nut or seed butter or dunk them in low-fat vanilla yogurt.
  • Cut a whole wheat pita into wedges and serve with 2 tablespoons of hummus or bean dip.
  • Make a veggie pizza by topping a whole wheat English muffin or pita with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, ½ cup diced fresh veggies, and 1 ounce low-fat mozzarella cheese.
  • Create a scrumptious yogurt parfait by layering 6 ounces of fat-free yogurt with ½ cup fresh or frozen fruit, then sprinkle ¼ cup (or less) low-fat granola on top.
  • Prepare instant oatmeal using fat-free milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and ¼ cup dried fruit.
  • Dress up a salad with a hard cooked egg or edamame, tomato, and 2 tablespoons reduced-fat dressing.
  • Whip up a quesadilla in the microwave using a whole wheat tortilla, ¼ cup black beans, 1-2 tablespoons low-fat cheese and 1 ounce of salsa.
  • Build veggie skewers with cherry or grape tomatoes and cubes of low-fat cheese or cooked tortellini and lean luncheon meat.
  • Make a tuna apple sandwich by combining a 5- to 6-ounce can of tuna packed in water (drained), 1 small apple (peeled and sliced into chunks), 1 tablespoon light mayo, then spread it on 2 slices of whole wheat bread.

To share these resources, download this flyer from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

At-Home Biometric Screening Kits Available at a Discount to Business Health Trust Members

Supporting wellness just keeps getting easier for members of Business Health Trust.

As we kick off a New Year, Business Health Trust is excited to announce a new partnership with Reperio, which can help your employees prioritize their health through at-home wellness screening tests. From the comfort of home, the app-supported screenings allow members to track their key metrics in just 30 minutes.

By offering employees at-home options, you can remove common barriers to engagement and offer accessible and equitable benefits to all of your employees, whether they are remote or in office. And there’s no time like the New Year to help employees get a baseline understanding of their health that they can measure and track over time.

The kits are available at a discount to companies enrolled in Business Health Trust, and can be shipped directly to your employees at home. The kit includes everything an employee needs to complete the screening, including a cholesterol and blood sugar medical device, blood pressure cuff and more.

As soon as the screening is done, results are available immediately in the app, along with a detailed explanation of what they mean. The Reperio kit meets the biometric criteria of the American Heart Association’s screening guidelines because it measures key indicators of chronic disease, including:

  • Blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic)
  • Heart rate
  • Total cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • Triglyceridies
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Relative Fat Mass (RFM)

After receiving their results, the employee selects a return method (free UPS pickup or drop off) in the Reperio app. They also have the ability to share the results with their primary care provider or other health care provider.

To learn more, download the How it Works flyer from Reperio and Business Health Trust.

Other Business Health Trust Wellness Resources

Looking for other resources to help your workplace kick the New Year off more healthfully? This is a great time to remind employees that they have access at no additional cost to the Passport Corporate discount program, which includes health and wellness resources like gym memberships, among many other discounts. More resources are available on our Employer Resource Hub, including our Employer Toolkit with Monthly Wellness Tools. If you have questions about Reperio or Business Health Trust’s other wellness resources, please contact us at