Wellness Webinars: Partner Programs

Learn more about the digital programs available to your through your health insurance plan!

Livongo – Battling Diabetes and Hypertension

*Eligibility: Must be diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension, have received communications from Livongo, and be an employee, retiree, or dependent enrolled in the A&M Care, 65 Plus, or J plans to participate in the program.

When: February 18th, 2021 at 10:00 am
Register: https://tamus.webex.com/tamus/onstage/g.php?MTID=ecf4b40286890d61e41a864325feae37c

 

Well onTarget ®Health Management with your BCBS Health Plan

*Eligibility: Must be an employee or dependent enrolled in the A&M Care, 65 Plus, or J plans to access Well onTarget ®.

Webinar Overview:

A comprehensive worksite wellness initiative should include innovative programs and activities to support and engage your employees throughout their well-being journey. Well onTarget ® offers a complete suite of integrated services designed to enhance member engagement, impact health care costs, improve health outcomes and meet the wellness needs of all members – no matter where they are on the health continuum.

What to expect: Join the Employee Webinar to learn more about Well onTarget ® and the robust wellness suite of services to take your wellness journey to the next level. Topics will cover:

  • Expanded digital self-management programs
  • New Personal wellness challenges
  • New health education offerings
  • Coaching

Speaker:

Laurie Weatherby, M.S., CWPC, CPT, Wellness Specialist, has been in the health and wellness industry for over 14 years and with Blue Cross and Blue Shield for three years. Her experience includes health education, health fitness specialist, certified personal trainer and wellness program manager, working with organizations to help them implement and promote wellness programs for their employees. She currently leads educational presentations on a variety of health-related topics, including overviews of the wellness platform, Well onTarget®.

When: February 24th 2021 at 11:00 AM
Register: https://tamus.webex.com/tamus/onstage/g.php?MTID=e72532430ec2046b2b0174436092da623

 

Hinge Health – At Home Therapy for Neck, Hip, Joint, Back, and Shoulder Pain

When: March 3, 2021 at  2:00 PM
Register: https://tamus.webex.com/tamus/onstage/g.php?MTID=e9c9258fc7ad4661a15f2884c41f5d9e6

 

Featured Retirement Plan Provider: TIAA

The A&M System has 6 retirement plan providers to choose from to further invest in your future. Each Benefit Briefs issue, we will feature a retirement vendor. This month’s feature is TIAA.

TIAA has options for Tax Deferred and Roth accounts available on their TAMUS website – http://www.tiaa-cref.org/tamus/. Find out more about their offerings and their various retirement plans.

Join their webinar about saving for your ideal retirement. Find out how retirement savings, planning and the real benefit of time are essential features of retirement investments.

When: February 17 at 2 p.m. (CST)
Subject: Tomorrow in Focus: Saving for your ideal retirement
Register: Https://tiaa.org/webinars/

COVID-19 Updates and Extensions

The current extension of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 is in effect until 04/20/2021. The following extensions apply to the A&M System medical insurance plans, COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield/A&M Care Plans

  • The co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 testing consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be waived by the A&M System health plans until the end of the PHE.
  • The A&M System will waive all member deductibles, copays and coinsurance costs for treatment related to COVID-19 for all of the BCBS A&M Care Plans until 03/31/2021.
  • The copay has returned to normal cost for A&M Care plan members who receive telemedicine services from their network physicians who provide it, for medically-necessary, covered medical and behavioral health services.
  • The copay has returned to normal cost for MDLive services.

AHP/Graduate Student Employee Plan

  • The co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 testing consistent with guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be waived by the AHP/Graduate Student Employee health plans until the end of the PHE.
  • The A&M System waiver for member deductibles, copays and coinsurance costs for treatment related to COVID-19 for all of the student insurance plans ended 12/31/2020.
  • The copay has returned to normal cost for those on the student insurance and graduate student employee plan who receive telemedicine services from their network physicians who provide it, for medically-necessary, covered medical and behavioral health services.
  • The copay has returned to normal cost for MDLive services.

Quick Reminders: 1095-C and Medicare Part D Out-of-Pocket Maximum

1095-C Reminder

Form 1095-C for the 2020 tax year is available electronically in Workday at https://sso.tamus.edu.  Once in Workday, click the Benefits Worklet. Select “My ACA Forms” in the View column. Please see our ACA Help page for more information. 

Medicare Part D Out-Of-Pocket Maximum

If you are enrolled in the A&M Care 65 Plus plan and the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan, your out-of-pocket maximum restarted on January 1, 2021. Please contact your Benefits Office if you have any questions.

February is Heart Health Month

February is Heart Health Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but there is a lot you can do to prevent it. Each February, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and The Heart Truth celebrate Heart Health Month to encourage healthy lifestyles and help combat heart disease.

The Heart Truth suggests taking these steps to adopt a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Get a daily dose of physical activity, such as a brisk, 30-minute walk
  2. Cook meals that are low in sodium and unhealthy fats
  3. Take your medications as prescribed and keep your medical appointments
  4. Sleep 7-8 hours at night
  5. Manage stress with meditation, yoga, a warm bath, other personal hobbies, or quiet time
  6. Try to reach or stay at a healthy weight by moving more and having snacks like fruits and veggies ready to have when hunger hits

Check out Your Wellness Program Offerings

COVID-19 has made going to the gym difficult, but it has challenged your Wellness Champions at your campus and agency to get creative with their wellness programs. You might be surprised to find several digital offerings available to you!

Click here to find out what your wellness champion or agency is doing.

 

BCBSTX Fitness Program Enrollment Fee Waived for February

If you are enrolled in the Well onTarget® fitness program, you now have access to BurnAlong. BurnAlong allows you full access to thousands of digital fitness videos and live classes – all at no extra cost. Digital classes available include cardio, bootcamp, barre, yoga and more. This gives Fitness Program members an additional option to stay active from the comfort and safety of their own homes. BurnAlong can be accessed through the Well OnTarget® Fitness Program portal. Members have BurnAlong access as long as their Well onTarget® Fitness Program membership is active. The benefit is available to all Fitness Program members regardless of the tier they join.

If you would like to enroll in the fitness program, log in to Blue Access for Members (BAM) at bcbstx.com and search for the Fitness Program under Quick Links. You will need to enter the code STARTINFEB during enrollment to join for free before February 28. If you have any questions or prefer to enroll over the phone, call 888-762-BLUE (2583) Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., CT. Enrolling in the Fitness Program also earns you Blue Points!

Fitness Program Flyer

 

 

 

 

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During the Holidays

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During the Holidays

During the holiday season, the healthcare industry sees an uptick in mental health inquiries. Researchers believe this is due to a variety of stressors such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Over-commercialization of holiday times
  • Financial Stress
  • Inability to be with one’s family and friends

With a global pandemic still looming, many families are opting to pass on gatherings this year. This can increase feelings of loneliness and depression. Reducing, eliminating, or finding creative ways to deal with holiday-specific demands on your time, energy, and emotions is important and working with a therapist or accessing other resources on coping with depression may help.

Your A&M System benefits include mental health resources if you are ever in need of them. ComPsych GuidanceResources provides guidance on work/life balance topics such as financial stress, mental health, marriage and family relationships, grief counseling, and more. They prepared a Healthy Holidays toolkit to help you stay cheery through the holiday season.

Go to Guidanceresources.com and register under your institution or agency listing. Use code ‘TAMUS’. They suggest these coping tips to help manage your feelings of depression during and after the holidays:

  1. Talk to a professional. If the blues you are feeling linger for several weeks and are interfering with your ability to enjoy life and function effectively, seek help. A therapist can assist you in exploring your feelings. You can talk to a behavioral health specialist on MDLIVE as well!
  2. Find support in others. Try confiding in trusted family members and friends about how you have been feeling. Be honest with others about what you are experiencing instead of covering up your emotions. An understanding loved one can give you the strength and support you need to help cope with depressive feelings.
  3. Manage your stress. Learn effective ways to reduce your stress and anxiety, which may minimize your feelings of depression.
  4. Exercise regularly. Regular fitness activities can improve your mood and boost your self-esteem. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is right for you. Because a lack of sunlight may be contributing to your depression, exercise outdoors for a double benefit.
  5. Eat right. Discipline yourself not to overeat. Avoid junk foods and environments that may encourage binging. Stick to a nutritionally balanced diet. Avoid alcohol, which is a depressant.
  6. Get the proper amount of sleep. Experts recommend at least seven to eight hours a night. Resist the urge to oversleep, and try to maintain a regular sleeping schedule.
  7. Make more time for recreational, fun activities. Try to spend more time outdoors, especially on sunny days.
  8. Be more social. Stay in touch with friends and family.
  9. Consider using a light box. These devices have been used successfully to treat seasonal affective disorder. Talk with your doctor or therapist about whether the increased amount of light could be helpful to you.
  10. Educate yourself. Learn all you can about depression, support groups in your area and ways to manage your feelings.

 

Resources: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – www.nimh.nih.gov;National Institutes of Health (NIH) – http://health.nih.gov; Mental Health America- www.nmha.org; Guidanceresources.com.