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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – December 2017 – Issue 300

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Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • December 11, 2017 • Issue Number 300


The 4J Joint Benefits Committee, in partnership with Cascade Health, is offering a free Mindful Living wellness class to 4J employees. The class will take place:

  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018
  • 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Cal Young Middle School Library

In this workshop you will:

  • Learn what mindfulness is and how it can improve your sense of well-being
  • Practice strategies to become more mindful through guided exercises
  • Explore how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life

If you would like to attend, please RSVP by Tuesday, January 2nd to Julie Wenzl: wenzl@4j.lane.edu or 541-790-7682.


Sometimes a small action can have a big impact. If you are looking for a wellness boost, consider the following:

  • Take five deep breaths, inhale slowly and exhale.
  • Write down three things you are thankful for today.
  • Set a physical activity goal for today and do it.
  • Crank up your favorite tunes and rock on!
  • Dance around while you are doing your work.
  • Go to be early today and get 8 hours of sleep.
  • Invite a friend to take a walk after work today.
  • Volunteer to help a friend today with something.
  • Eat your lunch outside with a friend (weather permitting of course).
  • High-five 3 friends today!

Thanks to Rachel Farkas for sharing some fun and easy wellness ideas!


If you moved from ODS Dental Plan 4 to Delta Dental Plan 5 during this fall’s open enrollment, you should have received incentive credit on your new Plan 5 based on your previous utilization history. Moda credited you with 10% for each year you received dental services on Plan 4. Based on your previous utilization, you should be on either the 70, 80, 90, or 100% incentive level. Please note that incentive level will apply to Preventive and Restorative services only. All other services on Plan 5 will be paid at the Plan’s appropriate constant benefit level.

Simple extractions, oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics, fillings, and inlays are all considered “Restorative” or “Basic Restorative” type services. All of these services are paid at the member’s incentive level.

If you believe you may not have been placed on the correct incentive level, please contact Moda Dental Customer Service directly at 866-923-0410.


The holiday season is a great time for seeing family and friends and appreciating the relationships we share. Long-running traditions also give us something to look forward to, as if we have a built-in photo album of happy memories. New research says that those memories might actually be able to reduce our stress – just in time for the holiday season! Take a moment to remember the good times and find a happy place.

Researchers at Rutgers University recently conducted a study on memory recall and brain activity. Two groups of participants plunged their hands into ice-cold water; one group was asked to recall a positive memory, the other was asked to recall a neutral memory. When their levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone,” were studied, the people who recalled a positive memory “experienced a surge just 15 percent of what those in the first group suffered.” The positive memories actually kept their stress lower than the other group. Brain scans for the happy memory participants also revealed increased activity in the area of the brain that is associated with reward processing.

As it turns out, we may have a built-in tool for relieving our own stress – and holiday nostalgia may actually serve a great purpose. To put your happy memories into practice, find a quiet moment to concentrate on your memory. (For context, the study participants thought about their memories for just 14 seconds.) Another way to tap into your past experiences is to write them down, paying attention to the details, and doing a bit of “mindful writing.” Try writing down your memory as if you were telling it as a story, in third person, which can help you step back from a stressful situation. Do your best to focus only on the memory – how you felt, what you saw, what you heard, even how it smelled and what the temperature was. What were you wearing? Who was there? Recalling a fond memory can get you out of your head for a while and help you reconnect to the people you love.

If you think the holidays are getting to you, think of a happy time. A sweet blast from the past might be just the medicine you need!


You have until December 31, 2017, to submit receipts for unreimbursed health related or dependent care expenses incurred during the October 1, 2016 – September 30, 2017, plan year.

Up to $500 of remaining funds in your FSA for unreimbursed health related expenses will rollover automatically after December 31, 2017. Any unused money left in your FSA for dependent care expenses at the end of the plan year will be forfeited, as per IRS regulations.

If you have any questions, the PacificSource Administrators Customer Service number is 541-485-7488. You can access the PSA website at http://psa.pacificsource.com/PSA/.


Vaccinations not only protect adults and children from developing a potentially serious disease, but they also protect the community by reducing the spread of infectious disease. If enough people are immunized, diseases are less likely to be transmitted through a population.

Through your Moda Health pharmacy benefit, you can receive immunization services at select network pharmacies.

Among the vaccines available through the pharmacy benefit is the vaccine for meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a rare but potentially fatal condition that causes meningitis, which affects the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Infection can lead to permanent neurological damage such as hearing loss or learning disabilities and can even progress to death within 24 to 48 hours. It is spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions from the infected individual.

Call ahead of time to make sure the pharmacy has the vaccine you need. Show your Moda Health ID card to the pharmacist for billing before receiving a vaccine — otherwise, it may not be covered.

The following are some of the network pharmacies that provide vaccines:

  • Rite Aid
  • Fred Meyer
  • Target
  • Bi-Mart
  • Safeway

For a complete list of network pharmacies or if you have questions, please call Moda Health Pharmacy Customer Service at 866-923-0411. Information about Moda pharmacy services, including other vaccinations covered at pharmacies, can be found online: https://www.modahealth.com/oebb/members/pharmacy.shtml


The 4J Wellness Clinic will be closed during part of winter break: December 25, 2017 – January 1, 2018. Please plan ahead if you will need prescription refills during that period. If you have an urgent medical need arise during the clinic closure, please seek care at an urgent care or other primary care clinic.

Regular clinic hours, which resume January 2, 2018, 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. The phone number for the clinic is 541-686-1427.


If you have not yet completed the licensed employee survey regarding benefits, please take a few minutes to do so. The Google survey link was e-mailed to eligible employees December 1, 2017. The link will be open through January 5, 2018.


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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