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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – April 2020 – Issue 320

Eugene Education Association - EEA

Prepared by Jamie Myers • 541-790-7682 • myers_j@4j.lane.edu • April 27, 2020 • Issue Number 320


Clinic Hours: Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., except holidays. The clinic is closed for lunch 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Who is Eligible? Insurance-eligible 4J employees and their dependents, as well as insurance-eligible retirees and their OEBB enrolled dependents (age 4 and above) may access the 4J Wellness Clinic.  4J employees and retirees who enroll in 4J/OEBB Kaiser Health as their primary health insurance coverage are not eligible to use the clinic at this time.

What to Expect:

  • The Clinic now has telehealth visits available. Call the Clinic for scheduling.
  • Well patients will be scheduled for morning appointments.
  • Sick patients will be scheduled for afternoon appointments.
  • Call your pharmacy if you need medications refilled, even if there are no refills remaining.
  • Behavioral health appointments have been transferred to telehealth.
  • 4J Wellness Clinic: 541-686-1427


4J’s April presentation, “Understanding Your PERS Pension” has been rescheduled due to the Covid-19 restrictions. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. It will be a virtual presentation via Zoom starting at 4:30 p.m. Please send an email to Jamie Myers if you wish to attend, myers_j@4j.lane.edu.

Understanding how your PERS pension works can be challenging, to say the least. Whether you are just beginning your career, within a few months of retirement, or anywhere in between, this session is for you.  Kris Kartub of Valic will be presenting via Zoom.

Topics will include:

  • Understanding the differences between Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP
  • Pension benefit calculation methods
  • Understanding your IAP account
  • Retirement option choices

You must R.S.V.P. in order to receive a Zoom invitation to attend this presentation.


The Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) has been expanded to include all 4J employees and their family members for the remainder of this plan year. Reliant Behavioral Health provides the EAP as part of 4J’s OEBB benefits. At this time, active employees are eligible for this benefit whether or not you are enrolled in 4J health insurance benefits. 4J Retirees, however, must be enrolled in 4J/OEBB retiree health benefits to be eligible for the EAP.

EAP services include counseling, work-life balance, and wellness resources to help people privately resolve problems that may interfere with work, family, and other important areas of life.

Some EAP highlights:

  • Up to 5 counseling visits at no cost, per person, per issue
  • 24-hour crisis help: toll-free access for you or a family member experiencing a crisis
  • Mediation services: free consultations for personal, family and non-work related issues (e.g. divorce, neighbor disputes, real estate) – a 25% discount is available if a mediator is retained
  • Financial services: free telephone consultations for financial issues (e.g. debt counseling, budget, college/retirement planning) – a 25% discount is available if a professional is retained
  • Legal services: free will kit with professional review – free half-hour consultation, followed by a 25% discount in fees if the attorney is retained also available. (Legal services are not provided for employer-related issues.)

To access the EAP call 866-750-1327 or go online: https://www.myrbh.com (Access Code: OEBB).


As we all know, millions of Americans are losing work due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If your spouse or domestic partner has lost their job, and consequently their health insurance, you may choose to make changes to your medical coverage through 4J/OEBB.

Medical, Dental and Vision:

  • Employee may enroll themselves, Spouse/Domestic Partner or eligible dependent children who lose coverage under the Spouse/Domestic Partner’s employer-sponsored group medical benefit plan.
  • Election of coverage may also be extended to previously eligible (but not yet enrolled) dependent children.
  • Employee may enroll dependent children who lose coverage under their own employer-sponsored group medical plan.
  • Employee may add plans they were not previously enrolled in.

If you need to make a change under this circumstance, you have 60 calendar days from the date of the qualifying event to submit a Mid-Year Change form to the 4J Benefits office at hr_benefits@4j.lane.edu. You must also submit documentation of loss of other coverage. Be aware that adding dependents to your plan may increase your monthly premium cost.

Please reach out if you have questions. I’m here to help. Myers_j@4j.lane.edu.


179 members donated hours to the Sick Leave Bank during the spring enrollment period! Of those, 29 are new members to the SLB, and 41 donated the maximum amount of 16 hours. Thank you to everyone who donated! We would not have a Sick Leave Bank without the generosity of members like you. The bank is not at capacity, so if you haven’t yet joined, the next enrollment period will be this fall, starting teachers’ first day back – October 31, 2020.


Is all this social distancing getting you down? Cabin fever is a real thing. It is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face when feeling isolated or cut off from the world.

The symptoms of cabin fever go beyond boredom or feeling stuck at home. They stem from intense feelings of isolation, and may include restlessness, decreased motivation, irritability, hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, irregular sleep patterns, lethargy, distrust of those around you, lack of patience, and persistent sadness or depression.

We all deal with these kinds of emotions in different ways, however there are activities that may help.

Spend time outdoors to improve your mood, alleviate stress, and boost feelings of well-being.

Create a routine to maintain a sense of structure.

Maintain a social life through virtual means such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom, or other platforms.  Try initiating a Six Feet of Separation outdoor gathering with your neighbors.

Engage your creative side by making music or visual art. Film yourself making a recipe you’ve never tried and post it on social media. Organize your online photos into scrapbooks, and order printed copies.

Give yourself some time away from your “cabin-mates.” Find a quiet place to read a book, meditate, or listen to music or podcasts.

Get some movement. Physical activity lowers your body’s stress hormones, and exercise also causes your brain to release endorphins. If you can’t get outside, you could try:

  • Pushups, knees or full-length
  • Squats
  • Burpees
  • Lunges
  • Planks, straight arm or elbow

Maybe you’ve tried all these suggestions, and you are still struggling with feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression. Please consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you are experiencing. The EAP is a good place to start, or you could contact your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online or by phone.

*Information excerpted and summarized from “How To Deal With Cabin Fever,” an article posted April 2, 2020 on healthline.com.

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