Financial Well-being

I don’t know about you, but I was thrown into my adulthood with no real knowledge of how to manage my finances and I made some costly mistakes. My guess is most of you have had little guidance on personal finances or what it means to have financial well-being. The lack of financial well-being can put stress and strain on you and your family. Financial issues are one of the top ten reasons people get divorced.

2017 report in MarketWatch found that half of American households currently live paycheck to paycheck

  • 19% have $0 saved to cover emergency expenses; 31% have less than $500 in emergency savings
  • About 49% of Americans are “concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being”

The average credit card debt is somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 dollars.

Even if you are great at budgeting or saving for emergencies maybe there are areas of finances you’d like to know more about as your life’s circumstances change. Such as retirement, college funds or navigating the care of a parent. There may also be ways to save some money that you haven’t thought of.

Below is a list of resources as well as money saving ideas that you can use to gain more financial well-being:

Take advantage of the money saving features of the Health Savings Account (HSA) with the Triple-tax advantage

Your HSA is triple-tax advantaged:

Contributions – Your contributions can be reduced from your taxable income either by making pretax payroll deductions or contributing post tax and listing the contributions on your federal income tax return. (Use the Form 8889.)

Earnings – Any interest earned in your HSA cash account and any increase in the value of your mutual fund investments are tax-free, meaning that you do not have to list these as taxable income on your federal income tax return. No action is required to report these earnings.

Paying for medical expenses – As long as you use the HSA for approved health care expenses, you do not pay any taxes on the money that you take out of the account. This means that every time you make a purchase, you are actually saving money.

Wellness Premium Savings

If you participate in the company provided insurance, you can save $125 a month by getting a wellness visit and submitting a validation form signed by the physician. If your spouse is also covered they too will need to get the wellness visit for the credit to apply. Check out this link for more details and the validation form. If you are on the road for work you can utilize a convenience care clinic for your wellness visit – log onto to find a convenience care clinic in the network near your job location.

Cost saving measures when using your medical insurance – shopping for services:

Telehealth Connection is a service offered by Cigna by which you can have access to a doctor via a phone call. There are two separate service providers you can utilize – they are Amwell and MDLIVE. Once you register with one of the services you can request a phone consultation for any of the below issues. Amwell costs $49 and MDLIVE $45 per consultation. or 855-667-9722 or 888-726-3171

Telehealth Connection service can be utilized for the following conditions:

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Cold & Flu
  • Fevers
  • Headaches
  • Rashes
  • Sore Throats
  • Stomachaches
  • Urinary Tract Infections

Urgent Care vs Emergency Room – According to Cigna the average ER visit is $2,259 versus an Urgent Care visit at $176. That’s an average savings of $2,083. Log onto to look up Urgent Care facilities in your area.

Prescription Savings – Saving on prescriptions by using the Walmart $4 program – Walmart offers numerous prescription drugs for $4 for a 30-day supply and $10 for a 90-day supply. They have drugs that cover all the common issues such as cholesterol, diabetes, digestion, heart health, blood pressure, thyroid and family planning. You can find a list of all the covered drugs at this link.

Auto Save – create a routine around saving money by either contributing to the company sponsored 401K plan (which is pretax, so you are saving on your taxes) or by having a portion of your pay put in a savings account. Here is an article on some ways you can save some money so that contributing to a 401K or savings account is easier. Ways to save money on a low income – Article

Along with the above cost saving measures you can learn more about personal finances and how to achieve more financial well-being, by checking out the FREE courses on Smart About Money

I encourage you to utilize the above resources as well as checking out all the resources available to you at and at brought to you by Fidelity (our 401K provider).

What Does Stress Got to Do With It?

Some sort of stress is a fact of daily life but it’s how we deal with the stress that can have a negative effect on us.

This infographic from shows the many ways that chronic stress can negatively effect our wellbeing.

To prevent stress from taking over and causing issues, practice stress reduction techniques daily. Here are 7 effective stress hacks that you can use supplied by Baylor College of Medicine.


Make it a habit of practicing these hacks on a daily basis to keep the effects of stress under control. Take the below stress quiz to get a better idea of how stress is effecting you.

If you are practicing daily stress management techniques and you are still experiencing negative effects of stress you can always contact the Employee Assistance Program for additional assistance. As an employee you receive 5 counseling visits for you and your family. Call the Cigna EAP at 877.622.4327 or go online at

Telehealth Connection

Not all healthcare situations require an in-person doctors visit. Through Cigna’s Telehealth Connection service, you can access a board-certified doctor via a video chat or phone call.

Telehealth Connection service can be utilized for the following conditions:

·       Acne

·       Allergies

·       Cold & Flu

·       Fevers

·       Headaches

·       Rashes

·       Sore Throats

·       Stomachaches

·       Urinary Tract Infections

Signing up is EASY!

Visit the website or call to register for one or both telehealth services available through Cigna. The telehealth services are provided through Amwell and MDLIVE. Once you are register then you will be ready to use the service when you need it so register in advance of your need for the service. or 855-667-9722 or 888-726-3171


The service is available 24/7 and if after the evaluation it is determined that you need a prescription, the telehealth provider can call one in for you.

Chronic Condition Coaching – Cigna

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition Cigna will connect you with a dedicated contact to help you.

They can help with:

·       Managing your chronic condition

·       Create a plan to improve your health

·       Help you understand medications and doctor’s orders

·       Identify triggers that affect your condition


Conditions that trigger outreach:


COPD (emphysema and chronic bronchitis)

Low back pain

Metabolic syndrome


Peripheral artery disease


  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression


  • Type 1
  • Type 2


  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Heart failure


If you have one of these chronic conditions you can access support by either calling 866-494-2111 to get assigned a contact or by using the online tools found at


It is never too late to start managing your health and Cigna is here to help.

Thyme for Cold and Flu Season

It is cold and flu season. If you get a cold or the flu or want to do what you can to prevent getting one, the herb thyme is your friend. Thyme has antiviral, antibiotic, antimicrobial, decongestant, expectorant and rejuvenative properties that help fight off or reduce the time you are laid up with a cold or flu. Thyme can strengthen the immune system. 

How can you take advantage of thyme’s powerful properties? Through steam and tea. I have included a YouTube video on how to make thyme tea and for the steam the instructions are below

Thyme steam – boil a couple cups of water. Once water starts to boil turn off the stove and pour the water into a metal or glass bowl, add a tablespoon of thyme and put a towel over your head and place your head several inches over the bowl and breathe in the steam. Do this until the water cools.


If you are already sick you can do a steam a few times a day to clear up congestion.

To prevent or reduce a cold or flu drink a couple cups of thyme tea a day should do the trick.


I’m including this video on thyme to give more info on how powerful it is. The tea recipe at the end is too weak to induce healing but the information is great.