Your Mental Health During These Trying Times

If you are suffering from stress, depression, anxiety, or other mental health emotions due to the pandemic, you are not alone. The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed mental health challenges associated with morbidity and mortality caused by the disease, and mitigation activities, including the impact of physical distancing. They found symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the United States during April – June of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

Mental Health America (MHA) conducted a screening on over 1.5 million people from January to September 2020 and found that the number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed. In September 2020, the rate of moderate to severe anxiety peaked, with over 8 in 10 people who took an anxiety screen scoring with moderate to severe symptoms.

Aggregate data* pulled from our telehealth provider, MDLive, month over month shows that 6 of the top 10 most frequent consultation diagnoses are related to behavioral health, with generalized anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood, and major depressive disorder, recurrent, moderate being the top 3 most frequent behavioral health diagnoses. Sixty-five percent of the virtual visits conducted between September 2020 and January 2021 were behavioral health related.

Your A&M System benefits package includes a variety of behavioral health resources to help you when you need them:

ComPsych GuidanceResources

ComPsych GuidanceResources offers in-person and telephonic counseling services, training, and resources to help employees deal with all kinds of stressful issues such as parenting, COVID-19, the death of a loved one, and conflicts at work.

To navigate to the stress-related resources, login into guidanceresources.com using your registered ID and select “Wellness” from the navigation menu. You can learn about resilience, depression, youth depression management, coping, and more. Currently, they have a mental health toolkit specifically for these topics. There is also a section on the website dedicated to COVID-19 resources. You can access GuidanceResources from your MyEvive account, if registered.

Contact ComPsych GuidanceResources with the information below:

Website: http://www.guidanceresources.com
WEBID: Contact your Human Resources Office for the WebID to register for the first time.
Phone Numbers:

  • Active Employees – 1-866-301-9623
  • Retirees – 1-833-306-0105
  • Qatar – 00800.100.071

2nd.MD

Available to employees, retirees and their enrolled dependents on the A&M Care, 65 Plus and J plans, 2nd.MD offers medical second opinions and consultations with specialists via video or phone conference at no cost to you. From the moment you reach out, 2nd.MD’s Care Team will be by your side to offer the support you need. A consultation with 2nd.MD, a medical second opinion service, might include discussion of your diagnosis, answering your questions, and connecting you with elite psychologists and psychiatrists who are leading experts in their fields. You have the option to schedule a face-to-face consultation via video or phone from the safety and privacy of your home.

Common behavioral health topics with 2nd.MD include:

• Emotional and mental support related to depression, anxiety, and stress
• Surgery canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 / Availability of alternative treatment options
• Concerned about the impact COVID-19 could have on your treatments and recovery
• Seeking information about existing conditions that could put your health at risk

Connect with the Care Team by calling: 1.866.841.2575. You can also go to 2nd.MD/tamus. 2nd.MD is available to covered employees and retirees in the A&M Care Plan, 65 Plus, and J plans.

Well onTarget Self-Management Programs

Well onTarget is a health and wellness resource provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas through your Blue Access for Members (BAM) account. It is available to covered employees and retirees in the A&M Care Plan, 65 Plus, and J plans. Log into BAM and click “Well onTarget” under the quick links to find self-instructed courses on a variety of wellness topics such as stress, nutrition, and improving your sleep. Work with a wellness coach, or earn Blue Points for completing healthy activities. Completing a self-management program may also count as credit towards your Two-Step Wellness Program checklist, if you are eligible for the program.

MDLive Virtual Visits

Virtual Visits is a feature provided by MDLive through your Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) medical plan. It is available to covered employees and retirees in the A&M Care Plan, 65 Plus, and J plans. Graduate student employees in the Grad plan may use this service for a $35 copay. You can schedule visits with doctors and therapists via telephone, online video or mobile app. This alternative to in-person appointments provides health care for simple, non-emergency medical and behavioral health conditions 24/7/365 for only a $10 copay.

MDLIVE’s board-certified psychiatrists can help with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, trauma & PTSD, panic disorders, and more.

Download the MDLive app or go online to https://mdlive.com/bcbstx and activate your account. You just need your BCBSTX member ID card with you when you register.

*Aggregate data is personally de-identifiable data compiled into a data summary for the purposes of public reporting or statistical analysis, subject to HIPAA.
Source: https://www.mhanational.org/issues/state-mental-health-america 

Musculoskeletal Pain: Here’s What You Can Do About It!

According to Healthline, musculoskeletal pain refers to pain in the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. You can feel this pain in just one area of the body, such as your back. You can also have it throughout your body if you have a widespread condition like fibromyalgia.

The causes of musculoskeletal pain vary from damage to muscle tissue, trauma, overuse, and prolonged immobilization. Yes, that is correct, using your muscles too much and too little can both cause musculoskeletal pain!

Symptoms of musculoskeletal pain include pain and body aches, fatigue, and even sleep disturbances.

If you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain, the A&M System has several programs available to you. To use these programs, you must be enrolled in an A&M System medical plan and be an employee, retiree, or dependent. These programs are currently not available to graduate student employees enrolled in the Grad plan.

Airrosti – Now with Virtual Offerings!

Airrosti provides diagnosis and treatment for most common musculoskeletal and joint conditions, including pain in the neck, back, shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, and feet. Their published outcome data shows their treatment to be effective at helping resolve everything from headaches to plantar fasciitis. Their data also indicates that they are just as effective at solving chronic back pain as they are at resolving acute sports/athletic injuries like pulls and strains, as well as repetitive stress/wear and tear injuries like tendonitis, frozen shoulder, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Check out Airrosti Remote Recovery for their digital solution at https://www.airrosti.com/remoterecovery/ or visit an Airrosti clinic in your area and present your BCBSTX insurance card. Employees and dependents enrolled in the A&M Care, 65 plus, and J plans are eligible to participate in Airrosti for a specialist copay. Retirees enrolled in a Medicare-primary plan can use the service for 20 percent coinsurance. Graduate student employees enrolled in the Grad plans may participate for a $35.00 copay.

2nd.MD – A Medical Second Opinion

Available to employees, retirees and their enrolled dependents on the A&M Care, 65 Plus and J plans, 2nd.MD offers medical second opinions and consultations with specialists via video or phone conference at no cost to you. If you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain and facing a possible surgery, or just have questions about chronic pain, 2nd.MD can help. You will get peace of mind and confidence in your treatment decisions when you speak directly with an expert in your specific diagnosis. A 2nd.MD doctor will take the time to evaluate your medical records, tests, and imaging to inform you of your treatment options. They can even connect you with a local doctor to start or continue your care.

Contact 2nd.MD by calling 1.866.841.2575​ or visit 2nd.md/tamus.

Hinge Health

If you experience chronic back, knee, hip, neck, or shoulder pain you might want to check out Hinge Health. This is a new, 12-week, coach-led digital musculoskeletal (MSK) program based on proven nonsurgical care guidelines. It is delivered remotely using mobile and wearable technology.

You will go through a clinical screening to determine eligibility. You can submit the screening questionnaire at https://hingehealth.com/tamus if you are interested in the program. Your eligible Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plan will cover the program cost if you are accepted!

Hinge Health is only available to A&M System employees, retirees, and their spouses enrolled in the A&M Care, 65 Plus, and J plans.

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

New BCBSTX Health and Wellness Partner Programs

Exciting news! As of September 1, 2020, several new health partner programs are in effect in collaboration with your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) insurance plans. If you are enrolled in the A&M Care, 65 Plus, and J plans, you may be eligible to participate in Hinge Health, Omada, or Livongo.

Hinge Health

If you experience chronic back, hip, or knee pain, you might want to check out Hinge Health. This is a 12-week, coach-led digital musculoskeletal (MSK) program based on proven nonsurgical care guidelines. It is delivered remotely using mobile and wearable technology. Hinge Health is focused on 3 core pillars:

  • Exercise Therapy –Wearable sensors and tablet provided for real-time movements feedback.
  • Behavioral Health – Cognitive behavioral therapy and unlimited 1:1 coaching.
  • Education – Personalized and interactive education curriculum.

Participants go through a clinical screening to determine eligibility. You can submit the screening questionnaire at https://hingehealth.com/ if you are interested in the program. Your eligible Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plan will cover the program cost if you are accepted!

Omada

Omada is a digital lifestyle change program to help reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and hypertension. Omada brings together the individualized attention of professional health coaches with a researched curriculum and manageable but powerful goals.

  • It helps connects the dots between knowing how to get healthy and actually doing it.
  • You get the support and tools you need, including an interactive program, wireless scale, health coach, and more.

Participants go through an application process to determine eligibility. Both the program and shipping are free to you if you are accepted into the program, and enrolled in the above health plans. Visit https://omadahealth.com to take the one-minute risk screener. You are eligible to apply if the screener results indicate a risk – then you can complete the online application.

Livongo

Livongo is a program specifically for those diagnosed with Type I or Type II diabetes or hypertension. You will be contacted by Livongo if you are determined to be eligible for the program. You cannot apply to join the program without being contacted.
The Livongo diabetes program includes:

  • An advanced meter
  • Unlimited strips and lancets
  • 24/7 support from Livongo Expert Coaches

The Livongo hypertension program includes:

  • Free, connected blood pressure monitor
  • Better blood pressure management
  • Personalized support

New Plan Year – New Activities on Your Checklist!

When logging into MyEvive, you and your covered spouse may see up to 11 health and wellness activities on your MyEvive Personalized Checklist (PCL). These may include your annual wellness exam, nationally-recommended preventive screenings, registration in various benefit programs, self-paced wellness courses, and more. They are personalized based on general demographic information and recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Some items show up for everyone by default because System Benefits Administration does not receive personal health data to know who may or may not be eligible to participate. You can choose any two activities to complete for the $30 wellness incentive credit for FY22. Credits are applied to the next plan year for tasks completed in the current plan year*.

New activities this plan year include flu shots, nutritional counseling, and preventive skin care exams.

Completing any two steps on your PCL will ensure that you have the lowest rate for your health insurance premium. Be sure to complete these activities by June 30, 2021, and allow some time for processing! Retirees and graduate student employees enrolled in the Graduate Plan already receive the lower premium and do not need to participate. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield-Well onTarget Health Assessment and your annual wellness exam will still count as the alternative to using the MyEvive portal.

*The checklists restarted September 1, 2020. Simply complete two tasks in FY21 for credit in FY22.