• Read our CEO’s editorial about health care reform, Page 3 • Enroll now in one of our Medicare plans, Page 5 • Dr. David offers healthy eating tips, Page 16
Dan Peterson of Little Rock, Ark., is a survivor of pancreatic cancer. See his story on Page 6.
A publication for the policyholders of the Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield family of companies
INSIDE 3 Out of the Blue 5 Great options for members 65 and over 6 Beating the odds: Dan Peterson’s journey 10
11 12 14 15 16 18 19 20
on Page 12 5 Medicare enrollment information 12
SilverSneakers adds to active lifestyle
Yarnell’s & Arkansas Blue Cross
is published four times a year by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the company’s members, health-care professionals and other persons interested in health care and wellness.
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
with pancreatic cancer Can Zicam damage your sense of smell? Caffeine may reduce Alzheimer’s memory loss Beware: Tanning beds cause cancer Prepare for two flus this fall SilverSneakers adds to active lifestyle Prediabetes? Take the warning seriously! Lose weight The Healthy Weigh! Taking calcium supplements for weight loss? What not to feed Junior Senior Moments with Dr. David Where does your health-care dollar go? A sweet relationship: Yarnell’s and Arkansas Blue Cross From the Pharmacist — Are you an unintentional drug dealer? Curves offers discount to members What is a formulary? The Doctor’s Corner Three benefits added to group DentalBlue plans Mental Health Parity: What it means for you Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act Blue & You Fitness Challengers win with better health Customer Service telephone numbers Good for you
Vice President, Communications and Product Development: Karen Raley Editor: Kelly Whitehorn — BNYou-Ed@arkbluecross.com Designer: Gio Bruno Photographer: Chip Bayer Contributors: Chip Bayer, Matthew Creasman, Damona Fisher, Kristy Fleming, Jennifer Gordon, Trey Hankins, Heather Iacobacci-Miller, Ryan Kravitz, Kathy Luzietti and Mark Morehead
A special thank you to Stacy Harter, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate student, who contributed the article on chiropractic medicine in the Summer 09 edition of Blue & You.
Out of the
Blue A message from our CEO and President, Mark White
those who cannot afford coverage on their own. • We believe that the most significant issue we face in health care today is cost. To be successful, any reform enacted must address cost as the primary issue. It is cost that has created a situation
Our stance on health care reform In the ever-changing environment around health care
in which many Americans lack health coverage. It is the cost of health care that makes our current sys-
reform, there are a few constants. At Arkansas Blue
tem unsustainable. We must first address the cost in
Cross and Blue Shield, our position on health care re-
order to reform health care without bankrupting the
form has not changed.
country in the process.
• We support health care reform. We believe chang-
As an industry, we must be — and are — prepared to
ing our current system is important to Americans
make radical changes in the way we do business. One
individually and collectively. The rate of growth in
much-maligned insurance company practice is denying
health-care costs today is not sustainable for the
coverage or payment for those with pre-existing medi-
long term. The impact of these costs on our na-
cal conditions. Early in the health-care discussions, our
tion’s ability to compete in a global economy and
industry pledged to support guaranteeing coverage for
on hard-working Americans will be unbearable. We
everyone despite any pre-existing health condition
believe so strongly in the need for change that we
they might have. But to make this proposal affordable,
will support responsible changes even if they require
we must have laws that require everyone who can
that we as a health insurance company significantly
afford it to purchase insurance and stiff penalties for
change the way we do business.
those who fail to do so. Without these laws, people
• We believe that every American should have ac-
would not buy insurance until they got sick. And we all
cess to high-quality, affordable health care, and
know you don’t wait until after you’ve burned dinner to
that any reform enacted should address the problem
turn off the oven.
of the uninsured by providing financial assistance to
But other changes are needed to make health care Blue & You Autumn 2009
available and affordable for all Americans. Remember
the patient together so that everyone has access to the
that the problem is the cost of health-care services,
information they need to best treat each patient and get
which directly impacts your health insurance costs.
their claims paid. This means when you see your doctor
Health-care costs drive health insurance costs — not
or visit the emergency room, the physician or nurse
the other way around. There are a number of reform ini-
should be able to enter your name and other identifi-
tiatives that hold promise for addressing our cost prob-
able information in a computer and review your medical
lem. The most important has not been part of the public
records. This will help avoid delays in care and unneces-
debate. Payment reform is an important first step if we
sary tests, as well as give the health-care providers a
are serious about controlling the cost of health care.
clear understanding of your medical history.
We must change how we pay health-care providers, not necessarily how much we pay them. Today, doctors, hospitals and other health-service providers are paid for each service they provide, even if that service isn’t helpful or already has been done. This method of payment is called “fee-forservice.” In this environment, patients
often see specialists and undergo many tests and procedures with no one coordinating the care they receive from one doctor to the next. We need a system in which doctors and hospitals are paid to treat a patient’s “medical episode” rather than each medical
Let me give an example: your 80-year-old mother goes to the emergency room and the doctor doesn’t
We need a system in which doctors and hospitals are paid to treat a patient’s
rather than each medical service provided.
have any experience treating her. He has no access to her medical records. He may have to order more tests, prescribe more medicines and take more time trying to diagnosis the problem. Some of these procedures are probably not necessary and may actually be harmful. The doctor won’t know if the same tests or procedures were conducted just a few months before. He could save time and money if he had access to her medical history, and he would be more effective in treating her
service provided. An episode might be a hysterectomy
with the appropriate information at his fingertips. That is
or a heart attack or any other condition for which a
the promise of improved health IT.
patient might seek medical care. When we pay doctors
As you listen to all the discussion surrounding the
and hospitals to treat a patient’s medical episode, they
current health-care debate, I encourage you to keep
are incented to coordinate the care the patient receives,
one question in mind. How will this particular proposal
avoid duplicate and unnecessary testing and provide
or plan help control cost? Responsible health care
care that has been proven effective and necessary.
reform will build on our current employer-based system
Another important initiative that will contribute to a
in ways that make it more affordable. Will huge, new
more efficient system is the expansion of health infor-
government bureaucracies control costs? How about in-
mation technology (IT) in the health-care delivery sys-
creasing taxes or placing new demands on employers?
tem. This initiative already is included in many reform
I hope that each of you will take the time to consider all
proposals and is part of the American Recovery and
the proposals out there and make an educated decision
Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. We need a system
about what is best for you and those you love. That’s
that links the health plan, the doctor, the hospital and
the American way.
Blue & You Autumn 2009
GREAT OPTIONS for members 65 and over If you are eligible for Medicare, November 15 is an
coverage) in 27 counties and affordable premiums
important date to remember. From November 15 until
in all Arkansas counties. Medi-Pak Advantage MA-
December 31, you can purchase a Part D prescription
PD (PFFS) plans are Medicare PFFS plans, which
drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan. You also can
combine all the benefits of original Medicare (Part A
change the plan you have. The federal government’s
hospital and Part B medical) with valuable extras.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, our Medi-Pak Advan-
calls this time period the Annual Election Period (AEP).
tage (PFFS) customers have a great new benefit!
If you join a plan during the AEP, or make changes to
Arkansas Blue Cross has contracted with more than
an existing plan, your new benefits will be effective
6,000 doctors and hospitals all over the state that
Jan. 1, 2010.
have agreed to accept our Medi-Pak Advantage
Medi-Pak Choice plans offer peace of mind Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Medi-Pak Choice plans provide the same affordability, convenience and peace of mind you’ve come to expect from us. For 2010, Arkansas Blue Cross will offer: • Three Medi-Pak Rx Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) with competitively priced monthly premiums – Basic at $25.90, Classic at $57.20 and Premier at $86.50. Our Medi-Pak Rx (PDP) plans cover all Medicareapproved generic drugs plus an extensive list of brand-name prescription drugs. In addition, more than 95 percent of the pharmacies in Arkansas are in our network. • $0 premiums for Medi-Pak Advantage MA-PD Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans (includes drug
members as valued patients. No more searching for a doctor who will accept your health plan. You will know in advance the doctors and hospitals that will accept your plan. And when you use these doctors and hospitals, you’ll have lower out-of-pocket costs. Plus, our Medi-Pak Advantage members will continue to receive a membership in the SilverSneakers® Fitness Program at no additional cost. • $0 premiums for Medi-Pak Advantage MA (PFFS) (does not include drug coverage) in 52 counties. These plans offer all the health benefits of our Medi-Pak Advantage MA-PD plans, but do not include drug coverage. Members have access to a network of 6,000 doctors and hospitals that have agreed to accept their plan and receive a SilverSneakers membership. Great options, continued on Page 18
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Beating the odds: up, and Dan was sent home. Dan and Donna Peterson enjoy the view from their front porch.
Two days later Dan returned to the hospital, still in pain, and was admitted. After a few more tests, Dan’s doctor walked into the room and told his family he had bad news. “It was like the air was sucked out of the room,” Donna said, still fighting back tears from that painful memory. “He said that Dan had stage-four pancreatic cancer and he needed to go home and settle his affairs because he only had a few
months to live.” Dan’s pancreas had an adenocarcinoma, a cancer originating in glandular tissue, and it had spread to two locations in his liver. There was no talk of oncologists, surgery or other treatments. The doctor suggested that Dan and his family start saying goodbye. Donna said that the only thing keeping her together at that point was that she had to be strong for their five children. “I couldn’t eat; I couldn’t take a deep breath; I
Miracles can happen. Dan
Peterson is living proof.
In late 2002, Dan began having severe pain in his upper abdomen. After a few days with no relief, he and his wife, Donna, went to the emergency room at a local hospital. Blue & You Autumn 2009
Dan endured several tests, including a CAT scan, and was diagnosed with pancreatitis — inflammation of the pancreas. One of the medical professionals noted that there was “something” on the CAT scan results but did not suggest any follow
couldn’t imagine life without him.” Dan went back to his job as a human resources director for the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and contacted his friend, Nick Lang, M.D., a surgical oncologist who was chief of staff for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs
Dan Peterson’s journey with pancreatic cancer (DVA) hospital at the time and who
now is chief medical officer for the
“I will always be grateful to her
University of Arkansas for Medical
for that,” Donna said. “She gave me
Sciences (UAMS). Lang contacted
my world back.”
waiting rooms of the Cancer Institute who had come for the excellent, state-of-the-art treatment. Part of the reason UAMS is rec-
Laura Hutchins, M.D., director of
ognized nationally for its treatment
the UAMS division of Hematology/
of rare cancers is that its missions
Oncology and director of clinical
of teaching, healing, searching and
research for the UAMS Winthrop P.
serving are interwoven into the
Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
daily activities of its employees. Dr.
The Cancer Institute has a tight-
Makhoul said he originally planned
knit group of physicians and re-
to only stay a short time at UAMS,
searchers who focus on specific
but found he enjoyed the balance
types of cancer, one of the reasons
of treating patients, heading the
it’s been named a Blue Distinction Center of Excellence for Rare Cancers by the Blue Cross and Blue
Dan and Donna before he was diagnosed with cancer.
That glimmer of hope shone
fellowship program, interacting with the residents and working on his own research.
Shield Association. Dr. Hutchins
even brighter as they visited with
quickly paired Dan up with Issam
Dr. Makhoul himself. His warm
Excellence for Rare Cancers, the
Makhoul, M.D., associate professor
demeanor and positive attitude
Cancer Institute must meet high
of medicine in the division of Hema-
allowed them to think toward the
quality standards established by an
future for the first time in weeks.
expert panel of physicians, surgeons
He told Dan that he believed he had
and other health-care professionals.
and Donna at Dr. Makhoul’s office
at least a year to live, if not longer,
When a hospital has been desig-
was Michelle Welch, R.N., Dr. Mak-
and that his team would try several
nated a Blue Distinction Center, you
houl’s nurse. Donna remembers her
of the latest therapies to shrink
know they have expertise in that
shock when Michelle said, “It’s not
the tumor and look into ongoing
specialty, that they focus on quality,
over — we have lots of things we’re
research to see if new treatments
and that they have a history of pa-
going to throw at you.” Michelle
The first person to talk with Dan
confirmed that it is true that the
“We had considered going out of
As a Blue Distinction Center of
Issam Makhoul, M.D.
prognosis for pancreatic cancer
state for Dan’s treatment,” Donna
is not good for anyone, but given
said, “but after that first visit we
Dan’s relatively young age of 57, and
realized how blessed we were to
his excellent health otherwise (at
live in Little Rock, so close to such a
the time he also was a warrant offi-
renowned medical center.” She said
cer in the Arkansas National Guard),
she and Dan visited with people
she felt he had a better chance than
from throughout the country in the
Cross and Blue & You Autumn 2009
member and health-care team to maximize the benefits available and help them return to self-managing their care.” “I had no idea in the beginning that there would be that kind of help, but any time I had a question I knew I could call Brenda,” Donna said. Part of Dan’s treatment still includes a nightly infusion of IV fluids, and the port must be changed weekly. For sev-
Blue Shield Association has created
A few days after Dan’s diagnosis,
eral months, nurses came
a process where hospitals can dem-
Donna listened to a voicemail from
out to change the port, but then the
onstrate their expertise.
Brenda Strange, R.N., C.C.M., case
Petersons received a notice that the
If you are looking for a hospital with a Blue Distinction designation, go to our Web sites and visit our “Members” section. We do the work for you, so you can be assured you are receiving the best care possible. The Petersons also were grateful to have Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield as their health insurance provider. “Arkansas Blue Cross has just been fantastic,” Dan said,
If you are looking for a hospital with a Blue Distinction designation, go to our Web sites and visit our “Members” section. We do the work for you, so you can be assured you are receiving the best care possible.
number of visits was running out. Donna immediately called Brenda for help. “We were able to offer an alternative benefit plan that would allow for an extension of Dan’s skilled nursing visits to support Donna,” Brenda remembered. “This allowed Dan to receive some of his treatments at home, which would have otherwise caused him to return to the hospital
remembering the ease of getting
management coordinator for Arkan-
during acute episodes of his ill-
his expensive treatments covered.
sas Blue Cross. Donna dismissed
ness.” For more about case manag-
When Dan retired from the National
the first call, but Brenda was insis-
ers at Arkansas Blue Cross, visit
Guard he qualified for Tricare, a
tent and, through one of the visiting
our Web site at arkansasbluecross.
program for retired military mem-
nurses, got Donna to call her back.
com and select “Case Management
bers. Still, he insisted on keeping
Brenda explained that case manag-
Services” under the “Members”
Arkansas Blue Cross as his second-
ers don’t direct member’s care, as
ary insurance because he knew the
some often think. “As a case man-
Dan’s treatment included visits
importance of having good health-
ager, I help coordinate the plan of
to the Central Arkansas Radiation
care already in place, work with the
Therapy Institute (CARTI) along with
Blue & You Autumn 2009
powerful doses of chemotherapy
that thinned his hair but not his spir-
it. At one point Dan asked Brenda,
“Why do you think I’m still here?”
and her answer was, “Because you
make everyone better.”
sas Blue Cross approved the “de-
using the scar from the operation as
signer” drug for Dan, which is now
had shrunk enough that the doc-
a frown. They tried to keep straight
an accepted medication for certain
tors decided to try to remove it.
faces as Dr. Makhoul lifted Dan’s
types of pancreatic cancer.
With the waiting room packed with
shirt, but it was no use and they
One of the misunderstandings
family members, Ralph Broadwater,
burst out laughing. As time went
people have about cancer is that
M.D., chief of Surgical Oncology for
by Dr. Makhoul and his staff found
they consider it all to be the same
UAMS, started the operation, only
quirky notes on the door of the ex-
thing. Dr. Makhoul said he often
to stop three hours later in frustra-
amination room, silver nail polish on
hears people ask, “Why can’t you
tion. The tumor was too close to a
Dan’s toes when they became dis-
cure cancer?” but in reality there
main artery. He was, however, able
colored from the medication — any-
are many subsets of cancers, some
to remove one of the tumors on
thing to make light of the situation.
much more easily treatable than
the liver; the other had disappeared
“We relied a lot on humor and just
from the treatments.
staying in the moment,” Dan said.
By September 2003, Dan’s tumor
While the operation wasn’t suc-
Go to Blue & You Online on our Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Web sites for more on Dan’s journey.
By 2005, the chemotherapy had
Research began about 25 years ago into the link between genetics
cessful, Dan continued to keep a
taken a toll on Dan’s bone marrow.
and certain forms of cancer. “We
positive outlook and to “live in the
Dr. Makhoul found information
now are harvesting the fruits of this
moment.” During a long wait to
regarding a medication not yet ap-
work,” Dr. Makhoul said, through
see Dr. Makhoul, Dan and Donna
proved for pancreatic cancer, but
medications focused on specific hu-
decided to have some fun. Using a
one that sounded promising. Arkan-
man genes that may contribute to a person’s predisposition for a type of cancer. In Dan’s case, even though pancreatic cancer in general is difficult to treat, his specific cancer responded extremely well to the medications, and his excellent overall physical health allowed him to endure treatments that many other patients couldn’t have tolerated. “There is no question in my mind that he is cured at this point,” Dr. Makhoul said of Dan. Almost seven years after his jourPeterson, continued on Page 21
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Caffeine may reduce
Alzheimer’s Can Zicam damage your sense of smell? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 130 reports of loss of sense of smell associated with the following Zicam products: ®
In a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers found that caffeine may reverse memory loss associated with the illness. The study was conducted using mice bred to develop
1. Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Gel
symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. They were given 500
2. Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs
milligrams of caffeine in their water daily upon develop-
3. Zicam Cold Remedy Swabs, Kid’s Size (a discontin-
ing memory problems. Mice that drank the caffeinated
water performed better on memory tests and thinking
The FDA advises consumers to stop using these
skills over the mice given plain water. They also expe-
over-the-counter cold remedy products due to the risk
rienced a nearly 50 percent reduction in the level of
of loss of sense of smell, which may be long lasting or
beta-amyloid — a protein found in the brains of people
permanent. If you have used any of these products and
with Alzheimer’s disease.
experienced a loss of sense of smell, you are encour-
Human studies are planned based on these positive
aged to contact your health-care professional.
Tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radia-
Tanning beds cause cancer
age of 30.
tion are in the top cancer risk category — as deadly as
Researchers also found evidence that UV-emitting
arsenic and mustard gas — according to a study from
tanning devices are associated with ocular melanoma.
the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Ocular melanoma is a cancer of the eye that can be
The research showed that skin cancer risk increases by 75 percent when tanning beds are used before the Blue & You Autumn 2009
lethal, especially if it spreads to the liver, a common complication.
two flus this fall Every flu season has the potential to cause a lot
local level, vaccinations will be available for everyone
of illness, doctor’s visits, hospitalizations and deaths,
from the ages of 25 through 64 years. Current studies
but this year the Centers for Disease Control and
indicate that the risk for infection among persons age
Prevention (CDC) is concerned that the novel H1N1
65 or older is less than the risk for younger age groups.
(swine) influenza virus could result in a particularly
However, once vaccine demand among high-risk groups
severe flu season.
has been met, vaccinations will be offered to people
Vaccines are the best tool we have to prevent the
65 or older. People 65 and older should continue to get
flu, so this year, plan to vaccinate twice — once for the
the seasonal flu shot as soon as it becomes available in
seasonal flu and once for the H1N1 flu. Vaccinations
for the seasonal flu already may be available in some
My Blueprint, our self-service online member portal,
areas, and the H1N1 vaccine is expected to be ready
can help you access information on your health-care cov-
sometime this fall. The H1N1 vaccine is not intended to
erage 24/7, which could be helpful during a flu outbreak.
replace the seasonal flu vaccine — it is intended to be used alongside the seasonal flu vaccine. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that the following groups receive the novel H1N1 (swine) influenza vaccine when it becomes available:
* Pregnant women are more at risk from swine flu Pregnant women may be at higher risk for severe complications from the H1N1 swine flu virus. Therefore, the CDC recommends that pregnant women should receive the same treatment and prevention regimens as
• Pregnant women*
recommended for seasonal flu — oseltamivir (Tamiflu®)
• People who live with or care for children younger
and zanamivir (Relenza®) or a vaccine when available.
than 6 months of age
If you are pregnant and suspect you may have been
• Health-care and emergency services personnel • Persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years of age • People from ages 25 through 64 years who are at
exposed to the H1N1 virus, or are experiencing flu-like symptoms, contact your physician right away. Source: CDC
higher risk for novel H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems. Once the demand for vaccine for the prioritized groups has been met at the
Go to Blue & You Online on our Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Web sites for more on the H1N1 flu. Blue & You Autumn 2009
SilverSneakers adds to active lifestyle
Pat Hagemeier of Russellville, Ark., and her husband, Dean, make exercise a part of their life together.
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Center, adding that the SilverSneak-
dollar per mile as a travel kitty for a
started life as a self-proclaimed
ers classes are so popular, “there’s
mutual trip when they finished. “It
klutz, but her love of exercise has
always a room full” of 40 or more
took us varying amounts of time to
helped her overcome numerous
people. And the classes aren’t easy,
complete the goal because life has
even for a seasoned exerciser like
a way of constantly interfering with
Pat. “They push you a bit and chal-
plans, but eventually we all reached
she enrolled in an exercise class
lenge you to increase your endur-
the goal and we’re off to Greece
at the YWCA and was immediately
ance. You leave feeling really good.”
at Hagemeier of Russellville
When her children were small,
hooked. “I bought a Good House-
Pat and Dean have made the
keeping 78 rpm exercise record to
fitness center a part of their daily
included two surgeries for cancer.
use when I couldn’t find a class to
routine, even though they often
“The day my staples came out I
take and faithfully worked out to
don’t go at the same times. Pat said
asked the doctor if I could begin
it. I also got a 45 rpm record called
she likes to go early in the day for
walking again, and she said to just
“Chicken Fat,” and my children
the classes, while Dean often goes
not overdo it. I decided that I would
would join me in marching, doing
later in the day to use the whirlpool
try to walk around our block that day
jumping jacks and touching toes
and other facilities. She said the
and then double the distance each
during cooped-up winter days.”
fitness center has brought them
day. It was no time before I was
even closer together, because they
back up to four to six miles a day,
and other teachers would exercise
both see their friends and can share
and I felt great.” Recovery after the
to a video in the library at the end of
the latest news when they get back
second surgery was a bit slower,
the day and then walk the track. She
together for meals.
Pat said, but she still credits her
Later, as a school counselor, she
Part of life’s “interference” for Pat
said her children would often join
Dean, 76, is an avid bicycle rider
her on the walk to share their day.
who has participated three times in
“It was a wonderful time to talk and
the Des Moines Register’s Annual
Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, a
another fitness goal. She partici-
seven-day bicycle ride. According to
pated in walking the half marathon
Wellness Fitness Center opened in
the Des Moines Register, the ride
at the Little Rock Marathon in early
Russellville, and Pat and her hus-
band, Dean, began taking advantage
of all the classes and facilities. “I
did weight lifting, cardio and stretch
classes and loved the way I felt.”
Two years ago, the center added
the SilverSneakers Program, and
bicycle ride in the world.
About 17 years ago, St. Mary’s
Pat said that with those added
quick recovery with the fact that she was in excellent physical shape. This year, at age 71, Pat reached
Go to Blue & You Online on our Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Web sites for more on SilverSneakers and upcoming speaker events.
Walking is a big part of Pat’s exer-
March. “It was a great experience! Training for it with my dedicated
classes she is at the facility four or
cise regime, and for several years,
walking buddies, seeing the mass
five times a week.
she and two of her friends have
of racers committed to a single goal,
been virtually walking across the
hearing words of encouragement
“They’re fantastic,” Pat said of the staff at St. Mary’s Wellness Fitness
United States. They each put in one
Hagemeier, continued on Page 27
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Prediabetes? Take the warning seriously!
Lose weight The Healthy Weigh! The Healthy Weigh! Education Program is free for members of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Advantage, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan (Federal Employee Program), and
is getting your blood sugar levels
eligible members of BlueAdvantage
that you are at risk for diabetes —
back to a normal range. You can
Administrators of Arkansas.
your blood sugar is higher than it
do this by making some lifestyle
should be. Most people who get
enrollment form and return it in the
type 2 diabetes have prediabetes
• Make healthy food choices.
self-addressed, postage-paid enve-
Prediabetes is a warning signal
To enroll, complete the attached
first, but the good news is that
Limit how much fat you eat and
lope included in this magazine. The
lifestyle changes may help you get
try to eat foods high in fiber. Try
program starts when you enroll.
your blood sugar back to normal
to eat about the same amount
and avoid or delay diabetes.
of carbohydrates at each meal.
to receive information through the
This helps keep your blood
mail, which you can read in the
privacy of your own home and at
Often, prediabetes has no signs or symptoms. But it’s important to watch for the classic red flags of
• Watch your weight. If you are
After enrollment, you will begin
your own pace. The program is
type 2 diabetes, including:
overweight, losing just a small
completely voluntary, and you may
• Increased thirst
amount of weight may help.
leave the program at any time. If
• Be active. Exercise at least
you have further questions about
• Frequent urination • Extreme hunger
30 minutes each day. You may
the program, call the Health Educa-
• Unexplained weight loss
want to swim, bike or walk.
tion Program’s toll-free number at
Remember, staying at a healthy
• Blurred vision
weight, eating healthy foods, and getting regular exercise can help
How is it treated? The key to treating prediabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes Blue & You Autumn 2009
Simply complete, sign and return the attached enrollment form in the self-addressed, postage-paid envelope.
What not to feed
Baby’s first year is full of new discoveries, including new foods. Several food items, however, should be left off the menu until a later time. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies are fine with breast milk or formula for their first four months, and then a bit of cereal can be added to the diet. Around six months, vegetable baby food can be introduced
Taking calcium supplements for weight loss? According to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, taking calcium supplements may not prevent weight gain. The two-year study was meant to test claims that taking calcium supplements might prevent weight gain in overweight or obese individuals. The study included 340 overweight and obese individuals in their mid-30s. Participants were either given 1500 mg per day of calcium carbonate or a placebo to take with meals. Researchers found that there were no statistically or clinically significant differences in change in body weight or body fat mass between the two groups. While researchers conclude that taking calcium supplements is not beneficial for weightloss purposes, the researchers do note that taking them may help prevent fractures. Source: Annals of Internal Medicine
slowly, giving each new experience a few days to watch for allergic reactions. Within a few months of starting solid foods, your baby’s daily diet should include a variety of foods each day that may include the following: • Breast milk and/or formula • Meats
• Cereal • Vegetables • Fruits • Fish There are some foods your baby should not eat within the first year. The following foods are considered no-nos by pediatricians: Grapes – while these seem like a perfect size for babies, they can be a choking hazard. Also avoid apple chunks or any hard vegetables like carrots. Honey – this natural sweetener can contain botulism spores, which doesn’t pose a threat to adults but can poison babies. Nuts and peanut butter – these can cause allergic reactions and the nuts can cause babies to choke. Hot dogs and sausages – these are high in salt and fat and can be a choking hazard. Food and drinks with artificial sweeteners Teas and coffees Food with added spices, seasoning and salt Shellfish – could cause allergic reactions. Potato or corn chips – these are very salty and can be a choking hazard. Blue & You Autumn 2009
Senior Moments with Dr. David formula at the far lower right).
A BMI above 30 is considered obese, between 25 and 30 is defined as overweight and less than 18.5 is considered too thin. Studies show that those who are David A. Lipschitz, M.D., Ph.D.
overweight, but not obese, live the longest. However, they don’t live the healthiest with advancing age, and they are far more prone to cancer, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and osteoarthritis. Remember, what we eat determines how long we live and the diseases we may endure late in life. Even at the ideal weight or below, you might have dietary habits that predispose you to hypertension, heart dis-
ease, cancer or even Alzheimer’s disease. No matter what you weigh, you must develop a healthy relationship with food. Start with these basic steps:
Don’t diet; eat healthy! Your choices can lead to a longer and better life There’s no denying it. The statistics prove it. With each passing decade, Americans are gaining more and more weight. We define being overweight or obese by the body mass index (BMI) — calculated by your weight over your height squared. You can find your own BMI by visiting the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute at nhlbisupport.com/bmi and entering your height and weight, or you can calculate it yourself (see calculation Blue & You Autumn 2009
1. Change how you eat Recognize your motives for eating. Are you even hungry? How do you hope to feel after your meal? Developing a healthy relationship with food often means changing lifelong habits. Second, slow down. A key element of developing a healthy relationship with food is actually noticing that you eat! Stop rushing through meals. Stop eating “on the run.” Enjoy every bite of food that passes your lips. Pay attention to it! Chew slowly, and notice how it tastes and feels. Regulate portion size. In the past 20 years, portion sizes for the average American meal have grown exponentially. Clearly, portion size is important. It’s not about depriving yourself of food; it is about giving your body the amount of food it needs to feel satisfied. 2. Educate yourself about food After you change how you eat, you can begin the process of changing what you eat. Remember — diets
Editor’s Note: David A. Lipschitz, M.D, Ph.D., is nationally recognized as a leader in the field of geriatrics. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is honored to have him as a contributor to Blue & You magazine. fail and the best diet by far is the “don’t diet, diet.” This is easy to follow: • Eat the right fats. A fat-free diet is unhealthy and may promote weight gain. The right fats are monounsaturated olive or canola oils and omega-3 fatty acids obtained in fatty fish, a handful of nuts or avocados. In moderation, these foods are good for you. • Eat the right protein. The right proteins are lean meat, fatty fish and legumes. • Eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want. Whole fruits are better than juices, and eat sugar-rich fruits (oranges, grapes) in moderation. Eat as much healthy salad or as many vegetables (for example: broccoli, zucchini or squash) as you want. • Watch the carbohydrates. Too much sugar and starch leads to weight gain, diabetes and other illnesses. Avoid empty calories such as sodas or candy. With each meal, eat no more than two servings of starch (bread, pasta, beans, rice or potatoes). Portion sizes should be no more than two thirds the size of your fist. • Don’t overuse supplements. The best way to get nutrients is from what you eat. Too much vitamins C, D and E, for example, can cause more harm than good. You can get adequate calcium and vitamin D either from dairy products or from a supplement. Those above age 70 should take a multivitamin without iron and a 1000 microgram B12 tablet.
3. Maintain the same weight. It is better to be overweight (pleasantly plump) than lose weight on a diet and gain it back with a vengeance.
Find your stable weight and stick with it. Learn to be happy with what you weigh and the way you look. In the long term, this will improve self-esteem, confidence and promote health.
4. Exercise. Find something you enjoying doing (walking, running, aerobics, swimming) to keep you feeling younger and healthier.
1. Convert your height into inches. (For
example, if you were 5 feet, 4 inches tall your height would be 64 inches. 2. Square your height (64 X 64) 3. Divide your weight by the squared height (for example, 140 divided by 4096 = .0342) 4. Multiply by 703 (703 x .0342) 5. BMI = 24 in this example. … or go to nhlbisupport.com/bmi and enter your height and weight.
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Where does your health-care dollar go? Take a look. Nearly 75 percent of the private insurance health-care dollar nationwide goes toward hospitals, physician services and prescription drugs. While about 14 percent goes to administrative costs nationally, those costs at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield are slightly below the national average.
18 Great options, continued from Page 5 Attention Medi-Pak Advantage and Medi-Pak Rx plan members If you have a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan, during October, you will receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), which will explain any changes to your current plan that will become effective in January. If you are satisfied with your current plan, you are not required to change anything. Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires companies to inform members of these changes prior to AEP, so that those who would like to shop their coverage have
Blue & You Autumn 2009
the opportunity to do so. The Annual Notice of Change includes a dedicated toll-free telephone number to call on or after November 15 to learn about plan options.
If you are interested in learning more about Medicare plans Call your local Medi-Pak Choice certified agent or 1-800392-2583 to learn more, or visit our Web site, arkansasbluecross. com. We love to hear from you! Also, if you have a friend or family member who doesnâ€™t have our Part D prescription drug plan, we hope youâ€™ll recommend that they enroll in Medi-Pak Rx (PDP) during the AEP.
A sweet relationship: Yarnell’s Ice Cream Co. and Arkansas Blue Cross
he taste of cold Yarnell’s ice cream
on a hot summer’s day is an Arkansas family tradition that dates back to 1932, and for 26 of those years, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been a part of keeping that tradition healthy.
Albert Yarnell, chairman emeritus of Yarnell’s, and his granddaughter, Christina, chief operating officer of the family business, taste the various brands of ice cream as a final check to ensure the quality of their product.
The Searcy-based ice cream company’s 240 employees keep the mid-South supplied with dairy-based treats and work hand-in-hand with other manufacturers across the nation. The factory has been
modernized throughout the years to facilitate production of premium ice creams, sherbets, frozen yogurts, low-fat and low-sugar treats as well as a variety of ice cream sandwiches, ice cream bars and other novelty items. “We compete in the marketplace with national brands,” said Floyd Washburn, vice president of Human Resources and Quality Assurance for Yarnell’s Ice Cream Co. Likewise, Yarnell’s maintains high standards when it comes to the health of its employees. Washburn said Yarnell’s was one of the first compa-
knows they can rely on the Arkansas Blue Cross Central
nies in the state to hold a company-wide health fair for
Regional Office to handle any issues that may come up.
its employees, and offer incentives to those who at-
“Yarnell’s and Arkansas Blue Cross have a true part-
tend. Additional incentives are given to employees who
nership,” Washburn said. So, whether your passion is
Homemade Vanilla or Woo Pig Chewy, the next time
After reviewing different health insurance companies,
you dip into a creamy scoop of Yarnell’s, you’ll know
Washburn said Arkansas Blue Cross consistently has
that the ice cream company you love trusts the health
risen to the top like cream. “The service level is excep-
insurance company that is good for you!
tional,” he said, adding that the human resources staff Blue & You Autumn 2009
Are you an unintentional drug You wouldn’t knowingly give your teenagers alcohol, cigarettes or illegal drugs, but if you are keeping
acetaminophen) for a non-medi-
Adolescents know where to look
cal use within the previous year.
for your medications, and with a lit-
• Roughly 15 percent of 12 grad-
tle online research, they might even
prescription medications in easy
ers reported using a prescription
know which of your medications
reach, you may be contributing to
drug (including amphetamines,
would give them the best high.
a problem that is reaching alarm-
ing proportions across the United
izers, and opiates) for a non-med-
medications more secure:
ical use within the previous year.
1. Know your medications. Are
During the past decade, there
Here are a few tips to make your
Let me interpret that last bullet.
you taking any high-risk medica-
has been an increase in prescrip-
For every 20 friends your 12th grader
tions such as painkillers, anti-anx-
tion drug misuse by adolescents.
has, three of those friends (or pos-
iety pills, sleeping pills, attention-
The “Monitoring the Future Survey,”
sibly your child) may have misused
deficit pills, weight-loss pills or
an annual survey of about 50,000
a prescription drug within the last
steroids? If so, be careful where
high school students assessing their
year. That is a sobering statistic.
you leave them.
beliefs and extent of drug misuse,
So, how difficult is it for those
2. Know where your medications
has reported trends on substance
three friends to find their next sup-
are. Are your medications in a
misuse since 1975. The most recent
ply of prescription drugs? A recent
medicine cabinet, on a bathroom
survey reports that:
article published in the August edi-
counter, in a bedside drawer, in
• Roughly 14 percent of eighth
tion of the Journal of the American
a purse, in the refrigerator, in a
graders, 27 percent of 10th grad-
Academy of Child and Adolescent
kitchen cabinet or on a kitchen
ers, and 37 percent of 12 grad-
Psychiatry revealed that the most
counter? Are your high-risk medi-
ers reported illicit drug misuse
common source of free misused
cations locked up?
within the previous year.
prescription drugs is friends and
• Roughly 3 percent, 7 percent,
3. Know how much medication
family. The second most common
you have. Are you running out of
and 10 percent of eighth, 10 ,
source of prescription drugs, ex-
pills? Are you getting early refills?
and 12th graders, respectively,
cept painkillers, involved purchasing
Have you lost a bottle of pills? Is
reported using Vicodin (an opioid
the prescription medications from
this a recurring event? Recurrent
combination of hydrocodone and
friends and family.
events could signal a problem.
by Brandon Griffin, Pharm D., Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Peterson, continued from Page 9
ney with pancreatic cancer began, Dan’s pancre4. Make sure that any family member or friend your adolescent sees on a regular basis knows this information. Let them know that you will be keeping a close eye on your household medications and that you would appreciate it if they would do the same. 5. Monitor your adolescent’s Internet use. There are many Web sites that provide information on what drugs to misuse, how to misuse them and how to find a source for them. 6. Visit the Web site: theantidrug. com. This excellent Web site for parents and other family members has numerous articles concerning misuse from psychological, medical and prevention perspectives. It also has testimonials from parents and family members, along with information regarding adolescent perspectives on drug misuse. While these steps may not prevent every case from happening, by adhering to them and educating yourself, the likelihood that your adolescent will grow up drug free will increase. We do our best to protect our infants and toddlers from the chemicals under our sinks, so let’s do our best to protect our adolescents from prescription drug misuse.
as shows no signs of cancer, but his body has suffered. Due to toxins building up in his body, Dan went into a coma for a week before doctors were able to devise a way to flush his system effectively. Today he still suffers from some equilibrium problems and can get a bit fuzzyheaded if his toxins get too high, but he is able to live a relatively normal life. The Petersons say they don’t know if it was Dr. Makhoul’s innovative approach to medicine, the excellent care from a Blue Distinction Center of Excellence, Dan’s positive attitude or divine intervention that helped him through one of the most aggressive cancers known, but they cherish each moment together and hope their story will inspire others to never give up and keep searching for treatments — even if it is the smallest of glimmers, there is still hope. For more information about pancreatic cancer and the latest research and treatments, the Petersons recommend the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, pancan.org.
Curves offers discounts to members There are 14 Curves locations in Arkansas offering discounts to our members — just by showing your insurance ID card. Participating Curves are: Benton, Bryant, Conway, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Little Rock (four locations — Capitol Avenue, Shackleford, Kavanaugh and Chenonceau Boulevard), Maumelle, Morrilton, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Springdale. The discount is a $59 service fee (regularly $199) when purchasing a 12-month membership with a bank draft. The Curves program is dedicated to women’s fitness and allows participants to get an aerobic and strength training workout in just 30 minutes. Curves also offers a weight management program.
Go to Blue & You Online on our Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Web sites for more on Curves and wellness discounts. Blue & You Autumn 2009
What is a formulary? You may have heard someone from your health plan
What is the difference in cost between a generic and
refer to a “formulary.” It sounds more complicated than
a brand-name? Using the previous examples, you can
it really is ... a formulary is simply insurance jargon for
see the cost comparison in the chart below.
“prescription drug list.”
Usually, there are several prescription drug list co-
A prescription drug list is the list of drugs covered by
payment options (we call these options “Tiers” in the
your health plan. It usually includes both generic and
health insurance world). First Tier drugs have the low-
brand-name prescription drugs.
est copayments and Third Tier drugs have the highest
A generic drug is a drug that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is
copayment. • Lowest copayment/First Tier — The majority of
equal to its brand-name counterpart. For FDA approval,
the prescription drugs on the first level are the less
the generic drug must contain the same amounts of
expensive generic drugs.
the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug.
• Mid-range copayment/Second Tier — This is your
It usually is less expensive and is sold under a generic
mid-range copayment choice and includes covered
name for that drug (usually its chemical name).
brand-name drugs that have been selected because
There are generic versions of many brand-name
of their overall value. Consider this copayment op-
drugs that can save you money. (For example, the anti-
tion if you and your doctor decide that no First Tier
depressant Zoloft has a generic sold under the name
medication is right for you.
sertraline, and the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor
• Highest copayment/Third Tier — Usually the most
has a generic called simvastatin.) Choosing lower-cost
expensive prescription drugs and the highest copay-
generic drugs is like using store-brand products at your
ment. It includes many brand-name medications.
grocery store — you can get the same product at a low-
Be sure to ask your doctor and/or pharmacist for
er price. In some cases, the generic version is made by
generic prescription drugs. It will save you out-of-pocket
the same company that makes the brand-name version.
expenses immediately and could keep your health plan
The generic version just comes in a different bottle.
costs down in the long run.
Cost per pill
Cost per pill
$2.51 per pill
$4.12 per pill
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Corner be healthy — it means eat a balanced diet, watch your calories and exercise regularly.
Want to lose weight? Count calories! Here’s the bottom line — the way you lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. This is what determines weight loss, not the amount of carbs or fat in your diet. So, eat healthy foods and exercise. Although there are a million books out there advocating one diet approach or another, the New England Journal of Medicine recently published research that shows that for weight loss, the type of diet doesn’t really matter. People lost similar amounts of weight if they consumed similar amounts of calories regardless of the percentages of protein, fat and carbohydrates in their diet. Now, that doesn’t mean eat 1,500 calories worth of Twinkies each day and you’ll
Sleep is good for you Mom always told us that we should get plenty of rest to keep from getting sick. Turns out she was right. Researchers recently have discovered that people who get less than seven hours of sleep each night are more likely to develop a cold after exposure to a cold virus when compared to people who get more than seven hours of sleep. Additionally, research found that less than seven hours of sleep is associated with heart disease, obesity and premature death. These studies show that seven to eight hours of sleep per night is ideal for adults. Second-hand smoke: risky for seniors Older non-smokers exposed to tobacco smoke in the home are as much as 44 percent more likely to suffer from dementia (a decline in memory, reasoning and thinking), according to a recent study. It’s long been known that people who smoke are at an increased risk for dementia.
by Ray Bredfeldt, M.D., Regional Medical Director Northwest Region, Fayetteville
With cancer — it matters what we eat Research clearly shows a link between obesity and an increased risk for developing cancer. Now, a new study suggests that what we eat may determine how fast a cancer spreads to other parts of the body. The study found that a diet high in fat might cause cancer cells to spread faster throughout the body than a diet low in fat.
Stomach drug may interfere with heart drug Plavix, a prescription medication frequently prescribed for patients with heart disease or for prevention of stroke, may be less beneficial if a patient also is taking a medication for stomach ailments. The type of drug that may interfere with heart medication is called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Common PPIs are Achipex, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix and Omeprazole. If you take one of these drugs plus Plavix, contact your doctor to see if there is an alternative medication you can take.
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Three benefits added to group DentalBlue plans New standard dental benefits will be added to group DentalBlue dental insurance plans for new and renewing small and large groups effective Oct. 1, 2009. Members with group dental plans through Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield should have received a let-
ter and Benefit Certificate in September with complete
Implants – Implants will be a major benefit in all group
details about the changes, but the following is a general
dental insurance plans. A dental implant is an artificial
overview of the new benefits:
tooth root that a dentist places into the jaw to hold a re-
Maximum rollover benefit – allows members to roll over a portion of their unused maximum to the next calendar year. A member is eligible for the rollover benefit if:
• The member has not reached the accumulated
• They have at least one paid dental claim in the current calendar year. • A member’s total paid claims for the year did not exceed the threshold amount. • The member is enrolled in the group dental plan on the last day of the calendar year.
placement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth, or teeth, due to periodontal disease, an injury or some other reason. Implants will be covered at 50 percent, up to the maximum benefit. Family deductible (three times the individual deductible) – if a member has family coverage, once three family members have met the deductible, no further deductible will be required for the balance of the calendar year, regardless of whom in the family incurs a claim.
Mental Health Parity: What it mean changes to their benefits upon the renewal of their employer’s group health plan as a result of the act. If you receive a new ID card with a mental health assistance telephone number, your plan will include changes under Mental Health Parity. Members with individual health plans for those under The new Mental Health Parity Act, which takes effect later this year, requires that mental health benefits be equal to physical health benefits. Members under some employer group health plans with Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage, and a number of plans administered by BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas will see Blue & You Autumn 2009
age 65 and those over age 65 will not see changes to their existing plans. However, beginning October 15, Comprehensive Blue PPO (an individual plan for those under 65) will offer a mental health rider for an additional fee to new policies only. This rider must go through underwriting to be approved. The act: • Removes limits on the number of days for inpatient
Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 introduced changes in insurance coverage for mastectomy. In accordance with the law, all group and individual health plans that provide medical and surgical benefits for mastectomy will cover reconstructive breast surgery, including: • Reconstructive surgery on the breast on which the mastectomy was performed. • Reconstructive surgery on the unaffected breast needed to “produce a symmetrical appearance.” • Prostheses and treatment of complications of any stage of a mastectomy, including lymphedema (post-
These provisions apply to all policies issued by Arkan-
surgical fluid buildup).
sas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Health Advantage and
The provisions of the Women’s Health and Cancer
BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas and are sub-
Rights Act of 1998 apply to all group health insurance
ject to the applicable copayments, coinsurance, benefit
coverage effective on the first day of the plan year
limitations, exclusions and benefit maximums.
(which in most cases is the anniversary date of the
If you have questions about your insurance coverage,
group contract) after Oct. 21, 1998. The law went into
contact your group benefits administrator or a customer
effect on all individual insurance policies issued, re-
service representative at your local Arkansas Blue
newed or in effect on or after Oct. 21, 1998.
ns for you hospital stays and outpatient visits per calendar year. • Requires that copayments, coinsurance must be
Outpatient: • Prior authorization of outpatient counseling services.
the same as for physical health benefits, and out-of-
Please call the telephone number for mental health
network mental health benefits must be provided if
services on your ID card.
provided for physical health. The following benefits will be required for members whose health plans were revised in response to the act: Inpatient: • Prior authorization of inpatient admissions for mental health and substance abuse. Please call the telephone number for mental health services on your ID card. • Concurrent stay review and discharge planning.
• 24/7 access to mental health professionals who will assist in locating and referring you to professional resources. To find out if your health plan includes modifications for the Mental Health Parity Act, you can contact your human resources administrator, check our Web sites and review your benefits information on My Blueprint, or call the customer service number on your health plan ID card. We love to hear from you!
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Blue & You Fitness Challengers win with better health Groups from 41 states, including almost 12,000 participants, scored better health through the 2009 Blue &
commitment to spend some time exercising and reap the rewards of better fitness. “The 11,791 participants logged 262,681.5 hours of
You Fitness Challenge. For six years, the Blue & You Fitness Challenge (formerly the Arkansas Fitness Challenge) has helped
exercise during the Challenge, up from 221,465.5 hours of exercise in 2008,” Cooper said. “The Challenge continues
participants improve their
fitness levels. The annual
to yield great results,” said
exercise contest, held March
John Selig, director of DHS.
1 through May 31, encourages
“Our online survey was com-
individuals toward the public
pleted by 2,628 contest par-
health recommendation of 30
ticipants. Almost 84 percent
minutes of physical activity
of respondents said they
each day, most days of the week. The contest promotes
reached their personal goals through the Challenge.”
wellness in the community and at the worksite by orga-
Respondents also indicated they had lowered their
nizing groups that compete against like-size groups.
blood pressure (73 respondents), cholesterol levels (41
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Arkansas
respondents), weight (327 respondents), and blood
Department of Health (ADH) and the Arkansas Depart-
sugar (26 respondents). Ninety-six percent said they
ment of Human Services (DHS) serve as Challenge
would participate in future programs like the Blue & You
hosts each year. This year, representatives from other
companies, organizations and state agencies statewide
Charles McGrew, ADH deputy director and chief op-
— and outside of Arkansas — joined in the competi-
erating officer, said, “The costs in treating diseases that
tion and were recognized at the awards ceremonies (a
result from preventable diseases is skyrocketing. And
complete list of participants can be found at arkansas-
yet, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five or
bluecross.com) to “Invest in Fitness.”
more days a week can reduce so many of these risks.
“Exercise requires only a small investment of time and movement, and promises a great rate of return on your health,” said Richard Cooper, vice president of Human Resources for Arkansas Blue Cross and team
Programs like the Blue & You Fitness Challenge make positive steps toward turning the trend.” Now is the time to start planning for the 2010 Challenge.
champion for the Challenge. “A total of 167 groups representing large and small companies, banks, schools and universities, physician offices, churches, hospitals and state agencies made a
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Go to Blue & You Online on our Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Web sites for a list of the 2009 Blue & You Fitness Challenge winners.
We love to hear from you!
Hagemeier, continued from Page 13
shouted from the sidelines, crossing the finish line and
May we help? For customer service, please call:
having my 10-year-old grand-
Little Rock Number (501)
daughter run up to me and say,
‘You did it, Grammy!’ made
Medi-Pak Advantage or Medi-Pak Rx
race day one to be remembered.”
Arkansas Blue Cross members
To enroll in SilverSneakers, Medi-Pak and Medi-Pak Advantage members can go to a participating fitness center near them and show their ID card. Fitness center staff will assist with enrollment and provide tours of the locations. Because new fitness centers are being added to the program regularly, members can go online to silversneakers.com to find all participating locations in Arkansas.
SilverSneakers Speaker Events Experts on aging are coming to a SilverSneakers location near you in October for fun talks on a variety of topics. Topics for the speaker events include: Nutrition for a Healthy Heart, What is Normal Aging and Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. Date October 1 October 6 October 8 October 9 October 13 October 14 October 15 October 19 October 21 October 22 October 23 October 30
City Jacksonville Arkadelphia Little Rock Little Rock Rogers Bella Vista, Russellville El Dorado, Fayetteville, Morrilton Nashville Clarksville Conway, Searcy Lonoke Cabot, Magnolia
Specialty Rx Pharmacy questions
Health Advantage members
Pharmacy questions BlueAdvantage members Pharmacy questions
State and Public School members 378-2364 1-800-482-8416 Federal Employee members
Looking for health or dental insurance? We can help! For individuals, families and those age 65 or older
For employer groups 378-3070 1-800-421-1112 (Arkansas Blue Cross Group Services, which includes Health Advantage and BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas) Prefer to speak with someone close to home? Regional Office telephone numbers: Pine Bluff/Southeast Region 1800 West 73rd St. Jonesboro/Northeast Region 707 East Matthews Ave. Hot Springs/South Central Region 100 Greenwood Ave., Suite C Texarkana/Southwest Region 1710 Arkansas Boulevard Fayetteville/Northwest Region 516 East Milsap Rd., Suite 103 Fort Smith/West Central Region 3501 Old Greenwood Rd., Suite 5 Little Rock/Central Region 320 West Capitol Ave., Suite 900
Go to Blue & You Online on our Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Web sites for more on SilverSneakers speaker events.
1-800-236-0369 1-800-299-4124 1-800-588-5733 1-800-470-9621 1-800-817-7726 1-866-254-9117 1-800-421-1112
arkansasbluecross.com healthadvantage-hmo.com blueadvantagearkansas.com blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org blueannewe-ark.com
Blue & You Autumn 2009
At Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we are always looking for new ways to be "Good for You." Here are some of our latest accomplishments.
Is your child in college out of state? We have so much information that is good for you that
Well, we’re going to give you one less thing to worry
we have to share some of it online! Blue & You Online
about — your college student’s health-care benefits
contains longer versions of our featured stories, links
travel with him or her. With BlueCard®, he or she
for more information on hot topics, and fun photos
doesn’t have to worry about filing complicated claims
we couldn’t squeeze into our print version. Go to our
forms or dealing with billing hassles. He or she simply
Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage Web sites
needs to present their Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue
(arkansasbluecross.com and healthadvantage-hmo.
Shield ID card before receiving care from a participat-
com) to find the Blue & You Online link and enjoy even
ing provider. He or she can call 1-800-810-BLUE (2583)
or visit arkansasbluecross.com (under “Need a Provider?” select the “Blue-
Easy online access to information
Card® Doctor and Hospital Finder”)
On the home page of any of our Web sites (see com-
to find a participating provider.
plete list on Page 27), you can register for an online
In an emergency situation, he
account that allows you to order an ID card, check the
or she can go to the near-
status of a claim for you or your dependent, find out
est hospital’s emergency
more information about your coverage and your ben-
room. He or she can use any
efits, manage your Personal Health Record, access
BlueCard provider in the state
health information and much more. It’s an easy way to
where they are living just as
get your personalized information. Go online and regis-
they would if they were home
ter today for My Blueprint!
Blue & You Autumn 2009
Beating the Odds; Medicare Enrollment Information