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OEBB Benefits News


Thanks for visiting our Benefits News page! We'll be adding more content each month to help you learn about your benefits in quick and easy "bite-sized" formats.

Do you have a subject you'd like to learn about? Let us know! Your topic may appear on this page in the upcoming months!

Webinars and Events for December

Be sure to check out this month’s webinars from your health plans, wellbeing vendor partners, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

In December, you can:Webinar-Schedule-Image.PNG
  • Get help managing holiday stress and seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Create an exercise program that fits your health and fitness goals
  • Build resilience and improve job satisfaction while taking care of your health
... plus check out an on-demand webinar that can help you get better sleep!




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If you feel tired but can’t fall asleep at night, you’re not alone. Nearly one-third of U.S. adults sleep less than seven hours per night.

In addition to feeling groggy, there are health risks that come with lack of sleep. Your body produces stress hormones that increase inflammation. This can lead to chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

If you struggle to get enough shuteye, try these tips to train yourself to sleep better:
  • Stick to a schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including on weekends). This makes for regular sleep rhythms. Over time, your brain will learn when it’s time to get sleepy.
  • Create a restful environment. Keep your room cool, dark, and quiet. Avoid light-emitting screens before bedtime. You can also use blackout curtains, earplugs, weighted blankets, and/or white noise to help you fall asleep.
  • Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Avoid eating big meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Limit the use of nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol. All of these can interfere with a good night’s sleep.
  • Get physical activity. Physical activity promotes better sleep at night. But avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime.
  • Go outside. Exposure to sunlight helps you go to sleep when it gets darker.
  • Manage your worries. Do your best to resolve your worries before bedtime. Get organized, keep a journal, prioritize, and/or meditate to keep your racing thoughts at bay. Need more ideas? The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. Its library of resources and certified counselors can offer other ways to manage your anxiety.
  • Get out of bed to reset yourself. If you wake up during the night, get up. Do a quiet activity, keep the lights low, and avoid looking at a lighted screen. If you routinely lie awake in bed, it can become a habit that leads to insomnia.
  • Plan a “hard stop” before bedtime. Don’t postpone sleep to catch up on social media or watch another TV episode. You may not get enough sleep, which makes the next day more stressful. Plan a hard stop and head for bed whether or not everything is crossed off your to-do list.
If your sleep problems worsen or persist over the long term, talk with your doctor about other solutions.
Sources:
Sleep Foundation, August 29, 2022, and Mayo Clinic, May 7, 2022
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Get the right care at the right place

Two women sitting at laptop with word MEDECINE on the screenYou can save time and money on medical care by avoiding the emergency room when possible and finding care elsewhere. There are several options. On average, you’ll pay much less and spend less time in the waiting room. 
Here are some helpful guidelines to consider when deciding your best option for care. Each situation is unique, so use your best judgment. The following services are in order of least expensive to most expensive.*

Virtual visit/telehealth

  • Use it for: A common, nonemergency medical issue that can be diagnosed by phone or online
  • Examples: Colds and allergies, flu, cough, ear infections, pink eye, experiencing stress and would like to connect with an expert for support
  • Average cost: Less than the cost of an office visit*
  • How to find care: Schedule a virtual care visit through your provider or search for telehealth/virtual visits on your medical plan provider’s website

Doctor’s visit

  • Use it for: A condition that doesn’t need immediate attention and can wait until the next day
  • Examples: Sore throat, fever, routine exam, screening, checkup, prescription refill
  • Average cost: More than the cost of a virtual/telehealth visit* 
  • How to find care: Call your regular doctor or search for an in-network provider on your medical plan’s website

Urgent care

  • Use it for: A condition that needs immediate care but is not life- or limb-threatening, and when your doctor’s office isn’t open
  • Examples: Broken bone, severe sprain or strain, cut requiring stitches, anxiety attack
  • Average cost: More than the cost of an office visit*  
  • How to find care: Search for urgent care clinics near you through your medical plan provider’s website

Emergency room

  • Use it for: A life-threatening or potentially crippling condition that needs immediate attention
  • Examples: Sudden weakness, dizziness or loss of consciousness, uncontrollable bleeding, chest pain, difficulty breathing
  • Average cost: More expensive than a virtual visit, office visit, or urgent care visit* 
  • How to find care: Call 911, or search online for the nearest hospital. Tip: Save valuable time. Search online for in-network hospitals today so you will know where to go if you ever need it
*Note: Your actual cost depends on your choice of carrier and medical plan, whether your doctor is in-network, whether you’ve met the deductible, and/or whether you’ve met the out-of-pocket maximum. 

Keep in mind that when you select a less expensive care option, it saves you and OEBB money. When OEBB saves money, it helps keep costs lower for all members.

Allergies got you down? Women blowing her nose because of allergies.

If you’re suffering with allergies, OEBB’s benefits can help.

Medical plan benefits

Your medical plan offers benefits to identify what’s causing your symptoms. Start with your primary doctor. For more severe allergies, your primary doctor might refer you to a specialist. Check your medical plan benefit summary to view your OEBB benefits for primary doctor and specialist visits.

Prescription drug plan benefits

You can also take medication or injections to help with allergies. If over-the-counter drugs aren’t enough, your OEBB prescription drug benefits offer coverage for certain allergy medications and injections. Click here to view your pharmacy benefits. You can visit your plan’s website to view the list of medications that are covered, which is called a formulary.

Reduce Digital Eye Strain

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It's a digital world and we are 

surrounded by smartphones, tablets, and computer monitors – all of which emit blue light. Increased exposure to blue light has been linked to the onset of blurred vision, dry eyes, tired eyes, and other symptoms of digital eye strain. 

Visit your VSP network doctor if you're concerned about blue light exposure, and find a solution that works best for you. 

Learn more about techniques to help reduce eye strain.
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11 Steps to Financial Wellness

Just as important as your annual physical, it's critical to periodically take stock of your financial wellbeing.

Uprise Health provides this Financial Health Checklist as a starting point for conducting your own financial wellness checkup.

Financial protection for the unexpected

insurance-concept-family-under-umbrella.jpgIt’s nice to know you have support standing by for unforeseen events. 

As an OEBB member, you have basic Life Insurance coverage, including access to Travel Assistance and a Life Services Toolkit. 
Learn more about your insurance options available from The Standard.


Telehealth at Kaiser Permanente

telehealth-visit.jpgGetting care today doesn’t always mean making an appointment and driving to the doctor’s office. Many of your health needs can be handled at home with a convenient telehealth visit using your mobile device or computer.

Learn more about the types of telehealth care Kaiser Permanente offers, and what it’s like to get care virtually.

Get the most from your VSP benefit

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With an OEBB VSP vision plan, you have many money-savingoptions to protect your eyes. Even if you don’t need prescription lenses, the VSP Lightcare benefit can be used for sunglasses or blue light filtering lenses.

You can also conveniently shop for eyewear online at VSP’s eyeconic.com, where you’ll find discounts on fashionable frames while integrating your insurance and the VSP doctor network. Learn more about Lightcare and eyeconic.com.

The OEBB Board, working for you

Curious what the Board is doing for you? The Oregon Educators Benefits Board is focused on providing health and wellness benefits to support the wellbeing of our members and their families. The Board meets regularly to review our benefits and make improvements where necessary. Learn more about the OEBB program.

All of OEBB’s Board meetings are public and recorded. View the meeting schedule and watch meeting recordings here.

Deductibles and copays – sorting it all out

OEBB health plans provide quality health benefits for you and your family. You pay nothing for annual physicals or preventive prescription drugs. But what about everything else? Let's brush up on how you pay for care in the OEBB plans.

  • If you go to the doctor or need a prescription filled for any other reason, you'll pay part of the cost before your benefits kick in.
  • Some of our plans feature a copayment or "copay" for certain doctor visits or prescriptions. This is a flat amount you pay, and the plan pays the rest.
  • Most of our plans also have a deductible. This means, unless the service you receive is "deductible waived" (e.g., preventive care), you pay 100% of the cost until you have paid this amount which is referred to as "meeting your deductible." 
  • After you have met your deductible, you pay a percentage of the cost (called coinsurance) and the plan pays the rest. Your coinsurance may vary based on the plan you are enrolled in and the service you receive, but it's very common on OEBB plans for you to pay 20% and the plan to pay 80%. 
  • You should also be aware that OEBB plans have annual "out-of-pocket" maximums to protect you if you need a high amount of medical care. All your copays and coinsurance payments are tracked by plan year. If the total you pay "out-of-pocket" reaches that maximum, the plan will pay 100% of your covered services for the rest of the plan year.
  • Keep in mind that the OEBB plan year runs Oct-Sept, so each year your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum resets on October 1st. If your spouse or family member is on a health plan with a different employer, their deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums may reset in January. Be sure to factor in this timeline when planning for doctor's visits or procedures. Click the links below to review your plan details.
Kaiser Permanente Medical Plans

Alternative care may be right for you

physiotherapist-giving-shoulder-therapy-to-a-woman.jpgSometimes the care you need may be outside of “traditional" treatment. Over the years, several “alternative" treatments have come into the mainstream.

Learn more about these options and whether they might be right for you. 

All OEBB medical plans offer an alternative care benefit.

Moda Health: Chiropractic and acupuncture services are covered with 12 visits combined annually.

Kaiser Permanente: Chiropractic, acupuncture and naturopathic services are covered as follows:

  • Plan 1 EOC: $20 copay, up to $2,000 a year
  • Plan 2A EOC: $25 copay, up to $2,000 a year
  • Plan 2B EOC: $30 copay, up to $2,000 a year
  • Plan 3 EOC: $20% coinsurance after deductible, up to $2,000 a year 
Questions about whether a specifc treatment/provider is covered under your plan? 

Contact Moda Health or Kaiser Permanente directly. They are happy to help you explore your options and find the right provider for you!

Expanded pharmacy coverage for Moda members

Article provided by Moda Health

Walgreens retail pharmacies are now part of the pharmacy network for OEBB's Moda medical plans.  

Learn more about this exciting update and find additional answers to frequently asked questions.

Is Invisalign right for you?

Young woman with big smile looking at laptop

Invisalign® is a treatment that uses a series of custom-made clear aligners to reposition teeth over time – a process that’s mapped out by your orthodontist.

In general, this treatment is better suited for simpler cases of misalignment. Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign requires a higher level of commitment from the patient. 

Aligners must be worn 20-22 hours per day and removed only for eating, brushing and flossing for the most effective treatment. Each case is unique, so the duration of treatment may vary. Clear aligners are covered by orthodontia benefits under the OEBB dental plans. Learn more at the following links:

Need help now? Try telehealth!

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Health happens everywhere, and now health care can, too. You can connect with a doctor in minutes, from anywhere, with telehealth. Many needs can be handled via phone, video or text message, without heading into a doctor's office. Telehealth is a great option for an earache in the middle of the night, allergies on vacation or questions about Covid-19.

How would you pay your bills if you couldn’t work?

Woman looking at bill with concerned face

Think of your Short Term Disability benefits as protection when life doesn't go as planned. We insure our houses, our cars and our health, but we often forget to insure our ability to earn a paycheck. Disability insurance helps you do just that, providing a source of income when you are unable to work because of a qualifying illness or injury. 

Learn more about OEBB's Short Term Disability insurance offered by The StandardArticle provided by The Standard.