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June is National Safety Month and the Dog Days of Summer are Upon Us

With the dog days of summer upon us, employers with outside workplaces should heed OSHA’s focus on the hazards of working in high heat. OSHA has produced a great deal of public information about heat-related illness, including a dedicated heat illness information page on OSHA’s website, a YouTube video, public press statements, speeches by senior Department of Labor and OSHA officials, and even a Heat Safety Smartphone App. Click Here to Check Out More Info! 

dog days of summer

Wear Red Day

1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year. Celebrate National Wear Red Day with Go Red For Women on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 to help save women’s lives. Join the movement nationwide and learn how you can honor women like you on this important day by clicking the words below. “

wear red day

Cardiovascular Disease

Though the “heart” is often thought of in terms of love and Valentines during February, it is also American Heart Month, in terms of Heart Health and cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States, and is the leading cause of disability as well. Cardiovascular Disease prevents many from enjoying family activities and from working! According to the CDC, Cardiovascular disease costs the United States over $300 billion a year in healthcare services, medications, and lost work productivity.

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How do we, as employees, prevent loss of work productivity due to Cardiovascular Disease? By controlling and managing our diet, physical activity, tobacco use, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and diabetes in order to prevent and combat Cardiovascular Disease.

Diet Resolution Week

Losing weight is always one of the top New Year’s Resolutions made by individuals each year. It’s only fitting that January 1st thru 7th, is “Diet Resolution Week”. While shedding unwanted pounds is a great goal to have, be sure that you are focused on getting fit. It is much better to be healthy than to simply be skinny. HR Strategies is proud to partner with Humana Vitality as our wellness program. Below are two simple and main tips from the Vitality program, which can not only aide you in shedding pounds, but increase your energy and overall well-being.

  1. Start a food journal.

Knowing what you are actually consuming, can lead to healthier choices. A 2008 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study shows that keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss.

food journal

  1. Eat right for weight loss.

There is no magic formula, weight loss simply comes down to using more calories than you are consuming.

Shedding those extra pounds, and increasing your overall well-being, will pay off in all aspects of your life, including your job performance!

For more tips from Humana Vitality visit https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/.

Refusing Health Care Coverage? Be Prepared to Pay

The Internal Revenue Service has recently released the maximum fine amounts for those persons who forego health care coverage.The-Health-Care-Reform-and-Medicare-resized-600.jpg

Individuals earning below the tax filing threshold of $10,150 will not pay a penalty. Others earning above $10,150 will pay based on earnings over the tax threshold of $10,150.

For taxes filed for the year 2014:

  • Individuals earning between $10,150 and $19650, there is a flat penalty fee of $95 per adult (47.50 per child under 18). Thus, a single adult making $19,000 would pay $95 (1×95); a family of two adults at $19,000 would pay $190 (2×95); and a family of one adult and one child at $19,000 would pay $142.50 (95+47.50). The maximum penalty per family with a household income below $19,650 is $285.
  • Individuals earning above $19,650, will be required to pay a penalty equal to 1% of their annual income. For example, a single adult employee earning $40,000 per year would be required to pay $400 (40,000×1%). Whereas, a family of six with two adults each making $50,000, the total income would be $100,000. Therefore the family would pay $1,000 (100,000×1%).

The maximum penalty for 2014 is $2,448 per individual annually, which is 1% of a yearly income of $244.800. Earnings above that for individuals are capped at the individual maximum penalty.

The maximum family penalty issued by the IRS was $12,240 for a five-member family, and will only impact households with a combined yearly income of $1.2 million or more.

*Remember these penalty rates are only for the year 2014, and will increase in 2015 and beyond. The 2015 penalties will be the greater of $325 per person or 2% of total income. 2016 Rates will rise further to the greater of $695 per person or 2.5% of total income. The years following 2016, the penalty rates will be adjusted according to inflation.

Call HR Strategies today for assistance! 770-339-0000 or visit our website at www.hr-strategies.com.

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