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December 2010
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Download the December newsletter.
 
 
Thank you for allowing us to serve you and your family this past year.
 
Wishing you health and happiness in 2011,
 
The Oregon Educators Benefit Board & Staff
 
 
 

 
Weight Watchers Launches New PointsPlus Program
Fruit
 
Science has proven that our bodies process the calories from different foods in different ways. For example, it takes more energy to process protein than carbohydrates. Weight Watchers has taken this into account and developed a new, modern formula for calculating PointsPlus values that help lead to smarter food choices.
 
 
Most fruits & vegetables have zero PointsPlus values!
 
Fresh fruit and most vegetables are now zero PointsPlus values – even bananas! Fresh fruit is healthy, delicious and filling. So it’s great to have for snacks and bulking up your meals and desserts. You can eat more, be more satisfied and still lose weight!
 
 
Eligible employees and early retirees can participate in Weight Watchers for FREE using OEBB medical insurance!
 
Click here to learn more or call Weight Watchers
on the OEBB-dedicated line 1-866-531-8170 

 
Weight Watchers Renewals
 
If you started participating in Weight Watchers this past October, your first 13-week session is almost over! Here are some things to remember when renewing for your second session.
 
At Work & Community Meetings
 
For At Work meetings or local community meetings, you will have a pocket guide showing each week you attended. Show this to your meeting leader. They will validate your attendance and give you a special OEBB single-use renewal certificate that is coded by Weight Watchers with a non-reusable and non-transferable access code for another 13-week session. Call the toll-free number (866-531-8170) and provide your unique access code to enroll in your next 13-week session at no cost to you.
 
Online Subscription
 
For Weight Watchers Online subscribers, you will capture a screen print of your online "Weight Tracker" and submit it to Weight Watchers via fax or e-mail along with the Online Proof of Participation Form. Detailed instructions are on the form. You will receive a validation e-mail with a new access code.
 
 
IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR ONLINE SUBCRIBERS: You will need to cancel your current online subscription before the end of the third month and re-enroll with your new access code. Weight Watchers representatives will be able to assist you with this process -- just call 866-531-8170.
 
Didn’t meet the minimum 10 weeks?
 
You can still get back on track by self-paying for your next 13-week session. As long as you meet the minimum requirement during your self-paid session, your free sessions will start again. Just follow the steps above!

 
Mortgage Assistance Program
Mortgage Assistance Program
 
The Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) will help 5,000 Oregon homeowners make their house payments. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, or know someone who is, go to www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org to find out if you qualify.
 
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS = JANUARY 14, 2011.

 
Don't Let Winter Make You Blue
 
Winter can bring on depression for many people, especially in Oregon with our frequent rainstorms and limited daylight. The holidays can also contribute, despite all the fun and festivities, particularly if people are separated from their loved ones or feeling strained by social or financial pressures.
 
If you’re susceptible to wintertime blues, it’s important to know you’re not alone and you don’t have to just "live with it". Many resources are available to help improve your state of mind and your quality of life.
 
Here are a few ideas you might consider:
 
EAP Services
 
If your educational entity elected OEBB’s employee assistance program for the 2010-11 plan year (if you’re not sure, click here), you have access to free counseling services as well as online tools and information to help you get through the tough times. The EAP also offers financial services, legal services and referrals to reputable childcare services and convenience resources to alleviate some of the stress in your life. Click here for a brochure detailing all the great assistance the EAP can provide.
 
To access EAP services through your OEBB benefit, call Reliant Behavioral Health (RBH) at 1-866-750-1327 or go to www.myrbh.com online (access code: OEBB).
 
Medical Benefit
 
All OEBB medical plans include mental health benefits. The amount you would pay for services will vary depending on your plan and individual factors like whether or not you’ve met your deductible. Plan summaries and detailed handbooks are available online:
 
You can also call your medical carrier before obtaining services if you need help figuring out how much of the costs will be paid:
  • Kaiser Permanente 1-866-223-2375
  • ODS 1-866-923-0409
  • Providence 1-800-633-1878
     
Prescription Benefit
 
If your medical provider recommends anti-depressant medication, be sure to discuss your options. Name brand drugs may be the first to be suggested, but in many cases there are generic options like fluoxetine (generic Prozac), paroxetine (generic Paxil), sertraline (generic Zoloft) or citalopram (generic Celexa) which could save you money.
 
Other Resources
 
If you or someone you know is in need of help, but aren’t enrolled in an OEBB medical plan, the State of Oregon offers a number of helpful resources. Visit their "Getting Help" web page at www.oregon.gov/DHS/addiction/gethelp.shtml to see what’s available and for contact information.

 
Beware of Free Samples
Gel Caps
 
Free samples can end up costing you money!
 
The companies that make expensive brand name drugs give free samples to doctors, often as a means of advertising.
 
Research has shown that once a person is taking a drug that works, they are much less likely to want to change to one that is as safe and effective, but comes under another name, even if that drug is much less expensive.
 
For example, the average cost for a month’s supply of Lipitor (a drug used to treat high cholestorol) is $72. There currently is no generic for Lipitor, but the average cost of a therapeutic equivalent, Simvastatin, is only $2.13.
 
The next time your doctor prescribes or offers you a sample of a new medication, ask him or her if there is a generic or therapeutic equivalent that may cost you less. You can also review your medical carrier’s drug formulary or even call your medical carrier to find out what other options you may have. Most expensive doesn’t necessarily translate into most effective or even safest. Become informed and a true partner in your health and health care.

 
Health Coaching
Exercise Shoes
 
All OEBB medical plans provide access to free, confidential health coaching -- one-on-one assistance to help guide you to success in a variety of areas including:
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Weight Management
  • Stress Reduction
  • Healthy Living
Your personal coach will help you set goals and make a solid plan to achieve them. They can also help you track your progress, keep you motivated and problem-solve any challenges.
 
Call your medical carrier to get started with a health coach, or to learn more:
  • Kaiser Permanente 866-301-3866, option 2
  • ODS 800-913-4957
  • Providence 800-878-4445
 

 
Online Resources
Computer
 
Each of the OEBB medical plan carriers provides a variety of additional services you may find helpful. Explore the links below to learn what your carrier offers:
 
Kaiser Permanente
ODS
  • WorldDoc - Access educational resources through myODS. Go to the ODS OEBB page. Once signed in, click on "WorldDoc", "Health Helpers" and "Healthy Living" to sign up!
  • Health Tools & Coaching - A wide range of health information and motivation to start you on the path to better health.
Providence
  • HealthBalance - One convenient place to find a variety of resources including online assessment tools, classes, programs and discount networks, informational articles and educational resources.

 
Want to Quit Smoking?

The Quit For Life® Program will get you prepared for a tobacco-free 2011. Call today to gain access to a Quit Coach®. Don’t wait until the clock strikes midnight on December 31. Start now.
 
It’s FREE. It’s confidential. It works.
1.866.QUIT.4.LIFE
(1-866-784-8454)

 
The OEBB EAP Can Help!
RBH
 
 
Click here to find out if your educational entity participates.
 
If you want to:
  • Quit alcohol or drugs
  • Get control of your finances
  • Create a will
  • Get out of debt
  • Live a healthy, less stressful life
  • Feel more in control
 

 Call 1-866-750-1327
or go online: www.myrbh.com (access code: OEBB)