Home » News » Newsletters » Employee Health and Wellness Newsletters » 4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – April 2015 – Issue 280

4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – April 2015 – Issue 280

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 3.13.40 PM

Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • April 20, 2015 • Issue Number 280


The seemingly simple process of storing food can be tricky – 44% of food is wasted at the household level and several billions are spent each year caring for those who fall ill or die from a foodborne illness. If you have ever encountered a food container in the back of your refrigerator that could double as a biological weapon, the FoodKeeper App may be of use to you.

FoodKeeper was developed by Cornell University’s Food Science Department, the Food Marketing Institute, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This free app gives storage times for the optimal quality and safety of every category of food imaginable, from individual species of fish to baked goods and even baby foods.  Especially practical is the option of automatically adding calendar reminders to consume refrigerated or frozen food items by a certain date. In addition, cooking times and general tips are provided for a variety of foods.

To add the app on your smartphone, search for “USDA FoodKeeper App” and install as you would any other free app.


If you signed up to participate in OEBB Healthy Futures, remember that you agreed to complete your Health Assessment by May 31, 2015. As you prepare to take your health assessment having some of your personal health information handy will help you to get the most accurate score. The Health Assessment will ask you for your most recent cholesterol levels, blood pressure and will ask gender specific questions. Your most current weight and waist circumference is information you should have available.

To get started, log into your myModa account (https://www.modahealth.com/oebb/members/) and click on the myHealth tab. From that tab, click the link at the bottom of the page “Visit Momentum now.” From there you will find the link to complete your confidential online Health Assessment.  If you cover a spouse/partner on your medical plan, they will also need to create a username and password and login to complete their own individual health assessment. If one of you participates but the other doesn’t, your family as a whole will not have satisfied the requirements of the Healthy Futures program, and no reward will be received.

In addition to the Health Assessment, the Momentum site has tools to help you improve your health and reduce your healthcare costs. You do not need to be enrolled in the Healthy Futures program to complete a Health Assessment. Knowing your health risks and addressing them is a positive step toward a healthy you!

Members who successfully complete all Healthy Futures requirements will earn a $100 lower deductible for the October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016, plan year.

You can find all of the Healthy Futures details, as well as a preview of the Moda Health Assessment, on the OEBB website: http://www.oregon.gov/OHA/OEBB/Pages/index.aspx


The Albertsons stores at 3075 Hilyard and 1675 W. 18th in Eugene, and the Safeway at 5415 Main St. in Springfield have now been converted to Haggen stores. If you have prescriptions that you filled at these locations, you should be able to continue to do so without interruption. Haggen stores are in-network pharmacies for OEBB. As long as Haggen Food and Pharmacy continues its pharmacy contract with Moda, there should be no issues with continued service.

If you decide you’d like to transfer an existing prescription to a new location, you should start by calling the new pharmacy. Give your new pharmacy your personal information and the prescription(s) you’d like to transfer, and the staff can work with your previous pharmacy to make the switch.

You can search for an in-network pharmacy when you log into your myModa account (https://www.modahealth.com/oebb/members/), or by calling Moda Pharmacy Customer service at 866-923-0411.


PERS is scheduled to mail member annual statements for 2014 by the end of May 2015.

If you are currently employed in a PERS-covered position, your annual statement will be mailed to your address that 4J has provided to PERS. This is just one more reason why it’s important to keep your address up to date with 4J!

For Tier One/Tier Two members, the statement will show Tier One/Tier Two and Individual Account Program (IAP) account information for the year ending December 31, 2014.

Tier One/Tier Two regular accounts, variable accounts, and IAP accounts will show the amount of earnings credited for 2014. For OPSRP Pension Program members, the statement will show current and accrued retirement credit and IAP account information for the year ending December 31, 2014.

PERS questions should be directed to PERS. You can reach PERS by phone at 888-320-7377 or access the website at http://www.oregon.gov/pers/Pages/index.aspx. Please use your PERS identification number when contacting PERS with any account questions.


Blood, spit, and tears? Perhaps not, but saliva is an essential bodily fluid that’s easy to take for granted. The health and wellness experts at the University of California, Berkeley offer these tidbits about your spit.

  1. Saliva is as much as 99 percent water, with a complex mix of proteins, minerals, vitamins, hormones, and other substances—along with traces of food, toothpaste, and whatever else you put in your mouth.
  2. Hundreds of salivary glands in the mouth produce, on average, about a quart of liquid a day—enough to fill two medium-size bathtubs a year. But saliva production varies considerably from person to person, by time of day, and under different circumstances. Notably, you produce less saliva when you are sleeping or dehydrated and, typically, as you age.
  3. Mucins—protein molecules that might be compared to microscopic ball bearings—are the key lubricating components in saliva.  They help you chew, speak, and swallow. They stick to the teeth and help shield them, to some extent, from bacteria and acids and thus from cavities.
  4. Saliva protects teeth and gums, lubricates the mouth, and helps regulate the acid balance of the mouth. It provides the environment in which tooth minerals can be replaced. That’s why chronic dry mouth can cause cavities and gum disease.
  5. Saliva contains enzymes that start the digestive process by helping to break down starches and fats. It lubricates the food you are chewing and enables you to swallow it.
  6. Food molecules must dissolve in saliva in order to be recognized by taste buds.
  7. Saliva contains antibodies that fight germs, along with substances that promote skin cell growth and blood clotting. That’s an important reason why wounds in the mouth usually stop bleeding and heal faster than wounds elsewhere on the body.
  8. When you are nervous or frightened, saliva production is reduced. Hot weather, inadequate fluid intake, strenuous exercise, many medications, and some medical conditions can result in decreased saliva production and potentially dry mouth. Smoking or breathing through your mouth dries up saliva.
  9. Saliva can be analyzed to monitor alcohol intake, smoking, and drug use. It may also be useful in diagnosing disease. For instance, there are FDA-approved saliva tests to detect antibodies to HIV and the hepatitis C virus. Someday diagnostic saliva tests may be as common as blood tests.


Heads up! All OEBB members will be required to log onto the MyOEBB system during open enrollment (August 15 – September 15) to select or waive coverage for the October 1, 2015 – September 30, 2016 plan year. Details will be sent your way when they become available.

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.

This entry was posted in Employee Health and Wellness Newsletters. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.