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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – December 2013 – Issue 273

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4J BENEFITS AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • December 19, 2013 • Issue Number 273

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?

In January, the Joint Benefits Committee will be launching a new employee wellness program:  What’s Your Number?  The goal of the program is to assist employees in becoming more knowledgeable about their cholesterol levels, their blood pressure readings, and their Body Mass Index (BMI) number.  In addition, the program will provide employees with tools and resources to build and/or maintain healthy habits.  This employee wellness program is made possible by grant funding from the OEA Choice Trust Employee Wellness Grant Program, and is in partnership with Cascade Health Solutions.

The program will be available to classified, licensed, administrative, and professional active employees who are benefits eligible.  At four pilot locations (Twin Oaks, Monroe, North Eugene and 4J Human Resources), employees will have the opportunity to participate in an early morning onsite fasting finger-stick cholesterol check, blood pressure check, and BMI calculation.   Employees who participate in an assessment will be entered into a prize drawing, and employees who complete all three assessments will be entered into a grand prize drawing.

If you do not work at one of the pilot test locations, or if you do but are unable to attend the day your onsite testing is scheduled, you can still participate through the 4J Wellness Clinic.  There will be an early morning screening set up specifically to accommodate employees who would like to participate in the What’s Your Number? program.

Scheduling at the pilot locations and the Wellness Clinic is currently underway.  Additional details about participation opportunities will be shared as they become available.

SEAFOOD HEALTH FACTS

In today’s information age, consumers and healthcare providers are frequently exposed to information on a single topic that may or may not provide a complete picture of all of the issues that can help them make informed choices about the seafood they consume.  The Seafood Health Facts is designed to provide information and resources on risks, benefits and product choices that can help consumers make informed decisions and help healthcare providers give balanced objective information to their patients.

The Seafood Health Facts website is a joint project of research from six universities, including Oregon State University, and includes information on seafood choices, nutrition, safety, benefits and risks, and sustainability and regulations.

You can find the Seafood Health Facts website at:  http://seafoodhealthfacts.org/.

SICK LEAVE BANK

The Eugene Education Association manages the Sick Leave Bank (SLB), the purpose of which is to grant hours to eligible members in cases of long-term absence necessitated by illness or injury.

During the SLB fall enrollment period (September 3 – October 31, 2013), 167 licensed employees made a donation of one or two days, 11 of them for the first time.  Three donors donated the maximum allowed (16 hours) despite the fact that each works less than 1.0 FTE.  Thank you SLB donors!

Due to the generosity of SLB donors, the SLB Committee has opted to change the frequency of required donations.  Effective immediately, to maintain active membership, a minimum donation of one day (prorated for part-time members) must be made every four years rather than every two years.  For those of you who donated during this fall’s enrollment period, your next required donation will not be until the fall of 2017.

There will be a second SLB enrollment period this school year from February 1 – April 4, 2014, and e-mail reminders will be sent at that time.

CILANTRO AVERSION IS GENETIC

Can’t stand the taste of cilantro, that popular herb found in Asian and Mexican cuisine?  The editors of the Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter report that you may be able to blame your genes.  Scientists have long suspected that thinking cilantro tastes like soap might be inherited.  Now a study of nearly 30,000 people by the consumer genetics firm 23andMe has identified specific gene variants linked to a dislike of cilantro.  The most important are among those controlling the sense of smell, especially a gene labeled OR6A2.  That encodes an olfactory receptor that increases sensitivity to the aldehyde compounds (organic chemicals formed by the oxidation of alcohols) that give cilantro its distinctive taste.  If you’re genetically predisposed to loathe cilantro, you’re not alone:  17% of European peoples, 14% of those of African descent and, surprisingly, 21% of east Asians hate the herb, too – as did culinary maven Julia Child.

WELLNESS CLINIC:  WINTER BREAK & CHOLESTEROL SCREENING

The 4J Wellness Clinic will be closed December 24, 2013, through January 1, 2014.  Regular clinic hours, which will resume January 2, 2014, are Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  The clinic is closed for lunch from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  If you will need a prescription refilled over winter break, please plan ahead.

Remember that the next drop-in cholesterol screening for the 2013-14 school year will occur Wednesday, January 8, 2014.  These quarterly drop-in cholesterol screenings at the 4J Wellness Clinic are done on a first come, first-served basis from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. and are a fasting cholesterol finger stick, with the results available in about 5 minutes.  Fasting means nothing to eat or drink but plain water for at least 10 – 12 hours.

If you have questions about whether it is time to have your cholesterol screened, please consult your health care provider.

FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT REIMBURSEMENT DEADLINE

If you had a Flexible Spending Account for unreimbursed health-related expenses and/or dependent care expenses during the plan year that ended September 30, 2013, please remember that all expenses must have been incurred between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2013 to be eligible for reimbursement.

In order to claim any remaining unclaimed money you set aside for the previous plan year, you’ll need to either file your reimbursement claim electronically or submit a Reimbursement Request to PacificSource Administrators (PSA) along with the appropriate documentation.  You can find information about how to file a request for reimbursement, as well as the necessary form(s) on the PSA website: http://psa.pacificsource.com/Flex/Request_Reimbursement/

The deadline for reimbursement requests for the previous plan year is December 31, 2013.  If you have questions, please call PSA customer service at 541-485-7488 or 800-422-7038.

FIND CARE IN A SNAP

Looking for a provider?  Locate one with Moda Health Find Care. Go to https://www.modahealth.com/oebb/members/ and click “Find Care.”  Then search for a doctor, dentist, pharmacy or clinic near you.

To make sure you see only preferred providers in your search results have your Moda Health member ID card handy and enter your subscriber ID.

Find Care lets you search by location, specialty, gender and even language.  Smartphone users can use a mobile version of Find Care.  Just search for the Moda Health mobile app in your app store (iPhone or Android), or type modahealth.com into your mobile browser.

WINTER BREAK

I will be out of the office for winter break December 23, 2013, through January 6, 2014.

For questions regarding benefits or claims, contact Moda Health:

For questions regarding eligibility, contact OEBB:

To access the Employee Assistance Program:

For questions regarding life or long term disability insurance:

 


 

The information in this newsletter has been summarized.  It is presented as information – not advice or counsel.  In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation.  Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.
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