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September 2009 Newsletter
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September 2009
Get Your Flu Shot
 
Immunizations received from a network provider or authorized vendor are covered in full under your preventive services benefit. The following information is from each of OEBB’s medical carriers
 
Kaiser offers flu vaccination clinics at some medical offices and has expanded the hours of its Saturday clinics on October 3 and October 24, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Monday through Friday, from October 5 through October 23, from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Non-members can also get seasonal flu vaccinations at Kaiser for a $25 - $32 charge depending on the vaccination received. Members can go to Kp.org/flu for up-to-date information on both seasonal and H1N1 flu.
 
ODS will cover shots obtained through a flu-shot clinic, through the member’s doctor’s office and through some pharmacies. Go to www.odscompanies.com/pdfs/oebb/oebb_flu_shots_external.pdf for more information.
 
Providence members may go to a participating pharmacy or get a flu shot at their doctor’s office. In addition, Providence offers educational entities flu shot clinics conducted by either Safeway or Fred Meyer. Providence members do not have a co-pay for flu shots.

H1N1 to Make a Comeback
 
Experts also worried about seasonal flu
 
H1N1 influenza is currently circulating in Oregon. Officials say H1N1 continues to present similarily to seasonal flu in terms of severity. Certain groups including pregnant women and people with underlying conditions are at an increased risk of complications from H1N1 influenza.
 
Public health officials urge those groups to take extra caution. People who develop a high fever with a cough, sore throat, or muscle aches, or parents of young children with these symptoms should strongly consider calling their healthcare provider.
 
By taking three simple steps -- washing hands frequently, covering one's cough and staying home from work when sick -- Oregonians can help prevent spread of infection to others, while also protecting themselves.
 
H1N1 infection has been reported to cause a variety of flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Spread of H1N1 influenza is thought to occur in the same way that seasonal influenza spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing.
 
The Center for Disease Control recommends taking these everyday steps to protect your health:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
 
What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. The CDC recommends that you wash your hands -- with soap and warm water -- for 15 to 20 seconds.
 
For more information about H1N1 Flu, please visit the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or visit the Oregon Department of Human Services at http://www.flu.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/acd/flu/h1n1.shtml.

Open Enrollment Has Ended
 
What you must know to ensure your coverage
 
The time has passed to make changes to your benefit selections during OEBB’s 2009 open enrollment. If you were successful in making your changes during open enrollment, there are still a few things you should do to confirm your coverage selections beginning on October 1. Even if you did not make changes during the open enrollment period, we recommend you do the following:
  • Check your pay stub;
  • Check the OEBB benefit statement that you will receive in the mail in late October and immediately verify your enrollments. If any of the information is incorrect, please contact OEBB;
  • Verify the dependents (a spouse is considered a dependent) you want to cover are listed under your plan;
  • Check your insurance card to see that the proper coverages are checked and dependents are listed.
 
Out of Area Dependents
If you are covering a dependent who lives outside of Oregon, please contact your insurance carrier to let them know of the dependet’s address. Doing this will ensure your dependent is assigned to the appropriate network and receives the in-network benefit level when care is needed and obtained from one of the many participating providers.
 
New Plan Year Begins October 1
Shortly after each annual open enrollment period, a new OEBB plan year begins. Beginning on October 1, 2009, deductibles and out-of-pockets maximums will start over.
 
Remember, OEBB’s plan year is from October 1 through September 30 each year.
 
Covering Domestic Partners
For members who are covering a domestic partner as a dependent, please note that he or she must be listed as such in the MyOEBB system which you used to enroll for benefits.
 
If your eligible partner is not listed as a domestic partner in the system, they may not be eligible for benefits beginning on October 1.
 
Life Policies Above the Guaranteed Issue
If you’ve selected life insurance coverage for yourself above the guaranteed issue amount of $200,000, you need to complete Standard’s Health Questionnaire. If you do not complete the questionnaire, you can not receive the additional coverage you selected above the $200,000 guaranteed issue amount.
 
If you purchased life insurance coverage for your spouse above the $30,000 guranteed issue, you also will be required to complete the Health Questionnaire.
 
You can find that info at https://connection.standard.com/deliver/eeoi/startup1.do?method=startup&microsite=646595.

Card Carrying Member
If you need an insurance card, you should contact your carrier. Information is as follows.
 
Kaiser Permanente
Members receive cards when 1) they are new members, 2) there are changes to their plan, and 3) they add new dependents. Members will not receive new cards if there were no changes to their enrollment. To order a new card, contact Membership Services at (866) 223-2375; go to the Membership Services desk at a Medical Office; or log on to kp.org and e-mail Membership Services.
 
Providence Health Plan
All Providence members will receive a card regardless of whether they made changes to their plans or not during open enrollment. For additional cards go to www.myprovidence.org to set up an account and order your card; call Customer Service at (503) 574-7500 or (800) 878-4445 Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; or visit www.providence.org/php/contactus any time.
 
ODS
Only new ODS members or members who made changes will receive new cards. For additional cards, e-mail medical@odscompanies.com or dental@odscompanies.com; call ODS toll free at (866) 923-0409 (medical) or (866) 923-0410 (dental); or log into myODS at https://www.odshealthplans.com/myODSWeb.
 
Willamette Dental
ID cards will go out to all new Plan Members for the 2009-10 plan year and will include a welcome letter that has instructions on how to contact Customer Service, obtain a replacement ID card and request a Member Handbook.
 
For existing members, no new ID card will be sent. Because Willamette Dental does not indicate the plan selection on the ID card, existing members will not be affected by the plan changes that added orthodontia. Also, because Willamtte Dental is the insurer as well as the provider, members don’t actually need to present ID cards because the information is on file.
 
If a member needs to request an ID card, they can contact Willamette Dental at (800) 460-7644, select option 4 or by e-mail at relations@willamettedental.com.

Member Health Survey This Fall
During October or the first few weeks in November you may receive a call from someone saying they’re conducting a survey for OEBB. Please take a few minutes to participate. With assistance from the Oregon Department of Human Services, OEBB is sponsoring this survey to obtain information on the health of its members. The survey is modeled after another one conducted annually by the State of Oregon and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You may be one of the 1,500 OEBB members selected from a random list. You will be able to schedule the 15-minute survey interview at your convenience to answer questions about:
 
• Your current health status
• Things that you do that affect your health (physical activity, eating habits, etc.)
• Worksite health and wellness activities and support
• Your experience with the healthcare system
 
All responses will be kept completely confidential. The independent survey firm will use member phone numbers for this survey only. Results from the survey will be reported in the aggregate, and no person can be identified through any reported information. Your participation is important. The results will help the Board create or modify programs and activities to better fulfill the health needs of members.