April 7, 2020
We are seeing so many changes to our work, personal, and social life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While these changes can seem daunting and the obstacles they create insurmountable, this can be a time of healthy change. There is always the chance for good to happen when you stop, stay home, and start something.
Are you someone that people would describe as constantly “on the go”? Do you always have a list of to-dos in your head and not enough time to do them? If so, stop. Take the gift of this crisis to stop running around and working to check off the box of every task on your list. Slow down. Stop. Rest is important to your overall health in that it allows your body to restore depleted energy. It also boosts your creativity and productiveness because it decreases fatigue and brain fog. Not being pulled in a million directions will actually boost the quality and quantity of work you can accomplish. Turn this negative situation into a positive by slowing down and re-centering.
One big takeaway from this quarantine is that we have all become quite aware of the massive amounts of time we have spent away from our home and family. Whether it be long hours at work, kids’ sports practice, kids’ music lessons and concerts, socializing with friends, or a mixture of all of the above, we may be realizing now just how little time we’ve spent inside our four walls. Now, our government is asking us to stay home for the sake of flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases. Many cities have taken this a step further and have “shelter in place” orders restricting the amount of time citizens are outside of their home to only essential tasks. These restrictions help lessen the chance of the virus spreading and assist our healthcare system by not overwhelming our hospitals and healthcare workers as they care for the sick. Help your family, your neighbors, and your workplace and stay home during this season.
It is so easy to look at our current situation in the world with COVID-19 and to only feel fear and see restrictions. But, now you have the opportunity to flip the switch on those feelings and choose to find the good during this quarantine. Remember when we were all going to start knitting, or scrapbooking, or photography? Go find those things and start them again! How about that idea you’ve had for years about starting a family game night? Tonight’s the night to start! Ever caught yourself saying “well, back in my day we knew how to <insert long lost basic skill here>” to your kids? Start teaching them about that skill whether it’s sewing or typing or laundry!
Now is the time to begin seeing the good in this situation. You can do it. Don’t let this time slip away and feel like it’s been wasted. Stop rushing. Stay home and keep everyone healthy. Start something good and memorable in your house. Don’t waste this global crisis—use it for a positive outcome in your life. – use it as a great opportunity to slow down, stay home, and start something new!
April 7, 2020
Sean Slovenski is the Walmart president for U.S. health and wellness, a $36 billion division that already fills over 400 million prescriptions and operates 3,000 vision centers. Walmart was the first pharmacy to offer prescriptions for as little as $4, and then began cutting its own health care costs with partnerships like the Cleveland Clinic and offering free health screenings. Now they have opened large health centers in the Atlanta area, with flat fees prominently displayed, for dental, medical and eye care, X-rays, hearing checks and some diagnostic testing. “We have taken advantage of every lever we can to bring the price of doing all of this down more than any hospital or group practice could humanly do…our goals, just like in the stores, is to get the prices as low as we can.” Walmart says their model lowers the cost of delivering service by about 40%.
Medicare for Fall – elections in Colorado may push the states do what the feds can’t | Jordan Shields, Partner
April 3, 2020
Colorado lawmakers are preparing a vote on a state-sponsored health plan that would compete with private insurance and offer lower premiums. The governor has the idea of reducing health care costs at the top of his agenda, creating an Office of Saving People Money on Health Care. Colorado follows in the wake of Washington, which already has a public option, and joins Delaware, Massachusetts and New Mexico who have their own proposals. Colorado’s
state-sponsored plan would start in 2022 and target the 7% of the population that buys their own health insurance, with premiums 11-17% below market. The state will target hospital costs in a transparent manner, replacing carrier negotiations, and also limit carrier profits and their budget for administrative expenses. Hospitals are not happy and have proposed their own idea that would limit total health care spending without interfering in the privately negotiated rates between insurers and hospitals.
March 30, 2020
The latest coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to be a major source of concern. Sports teams have cancelled seasons, companies are urging employees to work from home and social distancing is in full swing — all of which has anxiety at an all-time high. One way to help calm your nerves: exercise.
“It can help reduce tension and elevate mood by releasing endorphins, as well as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine,” says Alexandra Kreps, MD, a board certified primary care physician and internist at Tru Whole Care in New York City. “It can also work to stabilize mood and regulate sleep.”
Plus, it’s “a proven strategy to help improve, strengthen and maintain a good immune system,” says Percell Dugger, a certified strength coach and founder of GOODWRK. Something we can all benefit from right now.
But with gyms and studios clearing out and more folks finding themselves quarantined — either as a precautionary measure or by doctor’s orders — you may feel it’s inevitable that your workouts will fall by the wayside. To make things more complicated, you may now be working from home full-time while also taking care of your kids.
Fortunately, staying active at home doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time. We tapped fit pros for a couple of creative ways to get moving without risking your health — or the health of those around you.
1. Dance It Out
Put together a playlist of your favorite songs — “ones that get your heart pumping by just listening and that zap you into your own mental music video,” says Ivy Ledon, an instructor at 305 Fitness — and dance like no one’s watching.
Not only has cutting a rug been shown to improve cardiovascular health, fight the effects of aging in the brain and improve your balance and stability (which can lower the risk of falling and getting injured), it’s also just plain fun!
“Music is a universal language,” says Ledon, noting that 305 Fitness currently offers free online dance workout videos. And if your little ones are home from school, an impromptu dance party keeps them active and entertained, while helping them expend pent-up energy.
2. Take a Squat Break
Who says you need to be at the gym to drop it like a squat? You can do them pretty much anywhere. Plus a March 2020 study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that squatting, which is a natural and functional movement pattern, not only offers higher levels of muscle activity than sitting but may also help reduce some of the associated health risks (think cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.)
In other words, a squat break may be just what the doctor ordered. Try while brushing your teeth, says Victoria Brown, a senior instructor at SoulCycle. Considering the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, that’s a nice chunk of time to target every muscle in your lower body, including your quads, hamstrings and glutes, while you practice good oral hygiene.
3. Strike a Pose
Whether you’re a yogi or not, when anxiety is high, yoga should be a go-to. Here’s why: It’s a proven stress and anxiety buster. All you need is a mat or towel.
Faheem Mujahid, a certified yoga teacher, personal trainer and mindset coach, suggests trying the following two poses while you’re on lockdown. They get your whole body involved and engaged your entire kinetic chain from head to toes, which if you’ve spent multiple hours horizontal, is likely needed.
Move 1: Warrior I
Why? Strengthens the legs, opens the hips and chest, and stretches the arms and legs
Start with your feet about four feet apart, right in front of left, turning the toes of your back foot out to a 45-degree angle.
Keeping the back leg straight, bend your front knee, making sure it’s stacked over the right ankle. Keep your hips and shoulders square to the front.
Reach your arms straight up alongside your ears and bring your palms together to touch. Gaze up.
Hold for three breaths, then switch sides.
Move 2: Crow Pose
Why? Strengthens the core, arms, back, wrists and inner thighs.
Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower your torso between legs.
Place your hands on the floor, scoop in your lower abs and lift your hips high, placing your knees into your upper arms.
Transfer your weight into hands, tip forward and slowly lift one foot off the floor, followed by the other, tucking them in towards your butt.
Hold for three breaths.
4. Combine Cooking and Calisthenics
Since you’ll likely be spending more time in the kitchen, use that time to do some leg lifts while you’re whipping up a healthy meal for yourself and your family.
“By lifting your leg either to the side or behind you in an arabesque while you’re cooking, you can tone your glutes and outer thighs in a fun way,” says Robbie Ann Darby, a certified personal trainer and creator of RAD Experience.
Looking for more of a challenge? Darby suggests adding a mini resistance band around your thighs or ankles to intensify the exercise so you really feel the burn.
5. Walk This Way
Whether you’re taking conference calls while working from home or FaceTime-ing with your friends, make the decision to simultaneously move your feet. Walk the length of your home, around the kitchen table or even up and down the stairs if you have them.
Research shows it can boost your mood, energy and immune system. And all you need is at least 20 minutes. That’s two 10-minute calls or four five-minute calls, which is totally doable, and much better for you than sitting on your behind.
6. Get Creative With Furniture
Your house is full of non-traditional workout equipment just waiting to be used. Darby likes to head to her couch for killer core work. Her move of choice: V-sits. “When you do this exercise on the couch, which is cushy and therefore unstable, you get an extra burn.” It’s a great way to make your Instagram scrolling sessions more productive.
Move 1: V-Sits
Lie on your back on the couch with legs and arms extended.
Simultaneously lift your torso and legs, bringing your hands and feet to touch. Hold.
Slowly lower back down to the start and repeat.
Aim for 3 sets of 10 to 15.
Another go-to for Darby: barstool (or chair) push-ups and dips. “Upper-body work using a place where you usually rest your lower body never felt so good,” Darby says.
Move 2: Incline Push-Ups
Get into a high plank with your hands resting on a barstool or chair. Hands should be slightly wider than your shoulders.
Engage your abs and lower down until your chest nearly touches the stool. Hold.
Push back to the start.
Try to knock out as many as you can in 45 seconds.
Move 3: Dips
Position yourself between two barstools — a hand on each one — or at the edge of a chair, hands positioned behind you.
Lower your hips between the stools, so that legs are bent and thighs are parallel to the floor; arms should be straight.
Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor until your arms form 90-degree angles.
Push back up to start and continue for 45 seconds.
7. Crush Calories With Chores
Being confined to your home gives you the opportunity to turn mundane tasks into exercise opportunities. “Try mountain climbers, driving your knees up, while holding a plank position with dust rags under the balls of your feet or split lunges while you vacuum,” Brown says.
Move 1: Mountain Climbers
Press up into a high plank position like you’re about to do a push-up, with hands beneath the shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
Bring your right knee into your chest, engaging your abs at the same time.
Return your right knee to starting position.
Bring your left knee into your chest, then shoot it back, switching legs at your desired pace.
Or if you’re tired of watching those dirty clothes pile up and need to do a load of laundry or two, consider a round of biceps curls with the laundry detergent. “Try different angles,” Brown says. “Down the center, hinge at your hips and curl toward your opposite shoulder, then stand tall and curl out to the side.” You arms will thank you.
Move 2: Biceps Curls
Stand and hold weights in each hand, palms facing up and about shoulder-width apart.
Keeping your elbows glued to your sides and your chest upright, raise the weights up toward your shoulders. At the top of the motion, focus on flexing your biceps.
Slowly lower the weights until your elbows extend fully at the bottom without locking.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious and have decided to not only wipe down your shelves but also finally color coordinate your books, use this as a moment to work your core. “Fill up a weekender bag with books and do Russian twists on your carpet or yoga mat,” Brown says.
Move 3: Russian Twists
Sit down on the floor with your knees bent.
Keep your abs contracted and twist your torso to the right, bringing your arms out to the right as well.
Rotate back through center, then twist to the left.
8. Take a TV Break
There’s likely to be a lot of television watching over the next few weeks. Each time a commercial comes on, Dugger suggests picking a few exercises — sit-ups, planks, push-ups, lunges, etc. — and doing 20 seconds on and 20 seconds off until your show starts up again.
More of a Netflix-and-chill type? Either work out during the show or tell yourself you’ll do a dumbbell complex in between episodes. That involves performing a series of movements that complement each other back-to-back in a circuit without putting the weight down, Dugger says. Try this one:
5 bent-over rows
5 Romanian deadlifts
5 standing presses
Do 5 rounds total
Move 1: Bent-Over Rows
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, a slight bend in knees, and a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in.
Hinge at hips and lower your torso slightly, allowing your arms to hang down.
Keeping back flat, squeeze your shoulder blades and bend your elbows, pulling weights up to the sides of your ribs.
Slowly lower arms back to the start.
Move 2: Romanian Deadlifts
Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a slight bend in your knees, holding a dumbbell in each hand out in front of you.
Hinge at your hips, pushing your butt back as you lower the dumbbells down.
Squeeze your glutes, hamstrings and core, driving your feet into the ground to rise back to standing.
Move 3: Cleans
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart in a slight squat, holding a dumbbell in each hand at sides, palms facing in.
Driving through your heels, explode up and flip your wrists so they face forward, bringing the weights to your shoulders.
Straighten your legs to stand tall.
Pause, then lower weights to your sides to return to the start.
Move 4: Standing Presses
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, arms bent slightly, hands slightly wider than shoulders, palms facing your body.
Press the weights straight up, twisting them so your palms face forward at the top.
Reverse motion to return to start.
No weights? No worries. Dugger says you can use filled gallon water jugs, soup cans, heavy books or bags filled with things from your cabinet or even fruit (think apples or oranges).
By Rozalynn S. Frazier, CPT
Originally posted on livestrong.com
March 23, 2020
It’s been said the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has created the largest remote work experiment ever devised. In fact, there are many recently documented cases where companies have asked at least some of their employees to work from home. Three of those companies are Amazon, Twitter and Microsoft.
Remote work, of course, is not something new. In the past, remote work has been largely reserved for customer service representatives but that’s changed now with remote work being a reality for many different industries across the board. There’s been a 173 percent increase in people working remotely since 2005. Additionally, 75 percent of workers say they’re more productive at home. The reasons:
- Fewer distractions
- Less commuting
- Lower instances of office politics
The coronavirus aside, there are some real challenges for HR when it comes to looking after a remote workforce. Chief among them is the strategy for keeping those remote employees engaged the company.
Employee engagement is not an easy thing to accomplish. By and large, it really depends on the type of organization and the type of workers typically employed by said organization. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. When a company then adds remote workers into the mix, one can see how it gets more difficult to see success in a strategy.
In some ways, it’s easy for human resources to develop this idea remote workers don’t need engagement. The opposite is actually true. Remote workers tend to be very productive. Most statistics back up this claim. A solid remote worker is typically described as:
- Strong communicators
Even with all of that said, remote works want to feel like they belong with the company. It’s imperative they believe they are important and valued members of the company culture and its community. Remote workers, just like on-site workers, are susceptible to certain trends such as leaving the organization within the first year and leaving to pursue career advancement opportunities.
Facilitating Remote Work
All of that said, there are things company leaders and managers can do to set the engagement of the remote workforce on the right path.
The whole point of remote work is not having to go into the office. As such flexible work scheduling is typically a piece of the overall remote working strategy. To be more to the point – workers probably aren’t working a 9-to-5 shift if they’re off-site. That being said, managers can set particular expectations such as times the employee is expected to be “on the clock.” Some people refer to these as “busy hours” or “office hours.” It’s during this time remote workers should be expected to be prompt in their responses to emails and phone calls as well as be available to collaborate with the team.
Normally when the word inclusion is used, it’s in connected to diversity. In this particular instance, the focus is not on the inclusion of workers from any other perspective than the fact they are part of a team. If a team is meeting at the office to discuss strategy or anything for that matter, remote workers should be allowed to participate. They should actually be expected to do so. With tools such as Zoom and Skype available, there’s no reason they should not be included in the conversation.
In a lot of instances, brick-and-mortar employees tend to think remote workers don’t work nearly as much. That’s actually a misconception. In most instances, remote workers work longer hours than those in the office; about 46 hours a week. That being said, it’s important to reward these workers. If they are hitting their goals, that needs to be recognized.
Productivity Case Study
One area where companies tend to cringe when it comes to remote work is in productivity. There are some real fears presented from leaders with respect to workers not being as productive when working from home as compared to those brick-and-mortar employees. Some of it, like it or not, stems from the need some leaders have with respect to seeing their direct reports work. Is this fear founded or unfounded? If the results of one case study (and several others) are to be believed, the answer is definitely unfounded.
Look to CTrip, China’s largest travel agency. A professor from Stanford studies whether or not remote work was “beneficial or harmful for productivity.” It took two years to complete the study and what the professor found is a profound increase in productivity for a group of remote workers over their in-office counterparts. It wasn’t all “sunshine and rainbows”, however. Those remote workers did report an increase in feeling lonely and many reported they didn’t want to work from home all the time. In the end, the recommendation was to create a hybrid of sorts; one that balanced working from home and in the office.
Here’s what we know. Right now, there are some 26 million Americans who work, at least part of the time, from home. And that number is only going to grow. According to a report from Buffer, 99 percent of employees say they want to work from home some of the time for the rest of their careers. Additionally, IWG says their research indicates 80 percent of workers would choose a position with flexible work over one that didn’t offer the benefit.
It can only be hypothesized the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to push employers to test the boundaries of remote working. In doing so, they will have to take a very hard look at their current employee engagement strategies to ensure workers still feel connected to the organization and each other. While it’s not the single most important thing when it comes to continued profitability, especially in an economy rocked by a worldwide coronavirus outbreak, it will go a long way to ensuring companies can continue delivering on business promises and supporting the bottom line and the company workforce.
By Mason Stevenson
Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com
March 17, 2020
Minimum Wage: $12 (under 25 employees) or $13 in California. But beware that many municipalities have filed their own (notably Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, Richmond, San Jose and San Francisco), which are higher or accord workers greater rights (usually surrounding health insurance). Note, too, how to count telecommuting and thresholds for commissioned salespeople.
Santa Rosa $14 or $15 as of July 1, 2020
Petaluma $14 or $15 as of January 1 and raising one dollar January 1, 2021
Sonoma $14 or $15 on January 1, 2021
Overtime for Agricultural Workers – with splits for under 25 and 25 or more employees
Lactation – all California employers must meet minimum guidelines for providing a safe and secure place for mothers lactating. Employers with less than 50 employees may request an exemption. There are also rules against discharging employees with these rights.
Harassment Training – now applies to all companies with at least five employees
Independent Contractors – this is a big one, and complicated – but basically institutes rules regarding who is an independent contractor in California. Fair warning – almost no one is.
March 16, 2020
Did you know that a healthy mouth and good oral hygiene can actually reduce your likelihood of other serious diseases? Your mouth is more than just a gateway to enjoying delicious food. Your mouth is an indicator of your overall health. Let’s chew on the facts about dental health and what it can mean for the rest of your body.
Gum Disease = Warning Sign
Decayed teeth and gum disease are more than just unattractive–they are a report card on how the rest of your body is doing. Inflammation of your gums can first show up as bad breath. From there, this warning sign can point to more serious cardiovascular problems like blocked blood vessels and even elevated stroke risk. Think your diabetes is under control? Think again if you have the warning sign of gum disease. Check with your doctor if you feel like you just can’t get your swollen and bleeding gums to heal. Uncontrolled diabetes is linked directly to the inability to fight infections like those gum issues. Finally, the warning sign of gum disease has also been tied to higher risk for arthritis and even cognitive issues like slower verbal recall and slower ability to perform subtraction problems.
Oral Bacteria = Major Health Risk
Bacteria buildup in your mouth leads your body towards major health issues. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers and can be traced back to oral bacteria that is left unchecked and enters the bloodstream. These same bacteria, left unchecked, can start major heart issues as coronary disease, clogged arteries, and stroke. Pneumonia has been caused by bacteria from your mouth being pulled into your lungs. And premature birth and low birth weight can be the result of periodontitis in the birth mother.
Tips to a Healthy Mouth
While the end result of poor oral health can lead to disease, the way to avoid this scary pathway is by practicing these good dental habits.
• Brush your teeth twice a day. If you are unable to brush, chew sugar-free gum or use on-the-go toothbrushes like the Colgate Wisp.
• Make sure you use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen weak spots and exposed roots.
• After brushing, use mouthwash to rinse away any leftover food particles.
• Replace your toothbrush every 3 months. Frayed bristles are not strong enough to remove food from between teeth.
• Schedule regular dental visits for both cleanings and exams.
• Adhere to a healthy diet that is low in sugar.
• Avoid tobacco.
Understanding that good dental health leads to good overall health is key. Conversely, poor dental habits have been shown to lead to everything from minor infections to major diseases. When you take care of your teeth and gums the benefits to your overall health are innumerable. Follow the tips outlined here for good dental health and your body will reap the benefits for years to come.
Want to educate others on the benefits to good dental health? Check out these resources:
World Oral Health Day—March 20
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
American Dental Association—Printables and Activities for Children
Taxing Issues continued – whither will the ACA wither when the Supreme Court rules? | Jordan Shields, Partner
March 10, 2020
The biggest controversy, and the item that pushed the ACA over the goal line, was Chief Justice Roberts siding with his liberal colleagues and approving the law, based on disputed logic that likened the mandate penalty on individuals to a tax, and thus subject to federal approval (and Supreme Court affirmation). When the federal government decided to eliminate the penalty, they also eliminated the Supreme Court justification for ACA continuation. That was upheld in a recent US Court of Appeals decision (Fifth Circuit), saying the mandate is now unconstitutional.
Now the states who joined the original suit and the House of Representatives have filed two petitions asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on the issue immediately for both its constitutional position and the ACA viability if the mandate is struck down.
March 10, 2020
For a long time, employee burnout has been dismissed. In some instances, it’s been written off as employee laziness or simply an employee being contrary. That, however, is no longer the case.
In 2020, HR professionals are going to have to deal with it as a realized syndrome and one that is becoming more prevalent in the workplace. By going unmanaged, it has become an issue for companies all over the world. And if the trends are to be believed, it’s going to continue to go as a problem in the years to come. The impact is overwhelming. According to one article, in 2019 there was an increase in stress and burnout incidents reported. The result had an impact on workplace cultures actually causing them to decline.
Impact on Workplaces
Employee burnout cases have increased to the point where the World Health Organization has officially recognized it as an occupational phenomenon. In fact, the WHO has included it in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. The handbook describes burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
“As work becomes more intertwined with technology and work becomes more portable, the boundaries of personal time and work time are getting blurred,” Vishal Bhalla said. He’s the Chief Experience Officer for Parkland Health and Hospital System. “It’s important HR doesn’t puff its chest up and pretend it doesn’t exist and actually address it.”
Why? Bhalla says it can impact so many things in the workplace and outside of it.
“Burnout impacts safety issues. It impacts turnover. And there are many social effects because individuals who experience burnout tend to numb themselves by indulging in things one should not indulge in and they eventually end up hurting themselves or others,” Bhalla explained.
Gallup recently surveyed more than 7,500 full-time employees about burnout. 23 percent of those workers said they felt burned out more often than not. An additional 44 percent reported feeling burned out sometimes. To put that into context, nearly two-thirds of full-time workers are dealing with burnout at some point while at work.
As a result, those employees were nearly three times as likely to start looking for another job. Additionally, Ginger, an on-demand behavioral health provider, says 50 percent have missed at least one day.
Causes of Burnout
Bhalla said any number of things can lead to an employee experiencing burnout. Sometimes, it has to do with the relationship between the employee and his or her manager. It can also be tracked back to instances of bullying or discrimination. Another big component to employee burnout is the employee doing more than his or her fair share of work. Bhalla says this relates to, for example, the time it takes for the company to replace a member of the team that was promoted, left the organization or was terminated. In most situations, the team is expected to pick up the slack. That can lead to stress which can ultimately translate into burnout.
So how does HR solve for the problem?
“We can leverage technology. We can leverage culture work. We can leverage engagement because the other end of the spectrum is an engaged team member,” Bhalla said. He also pointed to design thinking as an option.
“It’s more incumbent on HR to take care of their people well. There are a lot of resources that are available for us to be able to impact burnout.”
Creating a workplace where an employee is excited to come to work can help curb the possibility of an employee developing burnout. In reality, no one is immune, but creating an environment where employees feel happy, engaged and motivated along with having the tools they need to succeed goes a long way.
By Mason Stevenson
Originally posted on hrexchangenetwork.com
Trust in God – All Others Pay Cash – the government goes after faith based plans | Jordan Shields, Partner
March 3, 2020
The concept is simple, just like insurance. Get a group of people in a common pool to pay premiums, collected for the purpose of paying them back in claims. The problem is it is not insurance, and there is a notable absence of protections against a run on the pool. Christian cost-sharing ministries that enroll individuals are now facing scrutiny from several state regulators who believe that their claims about claims are not what they seem, and may lack the financial resources to allow faith to function. Yes, the premiums are lower than what is found in the market, but so are the protections, with either internal or external caps and, of course, faith in the finances of the ministry group holding their money. State regulators in New Hampshire, Colorado and Texas are doing some investigation on the practices, promises and reality of what is being offered. Washington State has fined one of the larger health sharing ministries, Trinity Healthshare, $150,000 and banned it from offering its products to state residents. Nevada has sent out a warning, with the Department of Insurance saying “they may seem enticing because they may be cheap, look and sound like they are in compliance with the ACA, when in reality these plans are not even insurance products.” Texas has brought suit against Aliera Healthcare.