Fall 2020 Individual and Family Newsletter

In this issue

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Essential Health Benefits

Seasonal Flu Key Facts

What is Telemedicine?

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the newest issue of Health Matter. All of us here at CHRISTUS Health Plan hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well as we continue finding our new normal.

In this issue, we describe how to make a No-Sew Cloth Mask and the Great American Smokeout in honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November.

Two important reminders: Flu season is coming, so please be sure to get your flu vaccine. Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15.

As always, if you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact Member Services at 844.282.3025.

Nothing means more to us than knowing we’ve helped make our members’ lives better.

In good health,

Nancy Horstmann
Chief Executive Officer
CHRISTUS Health US Family Health Plan

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Our Outreach Coordinator is sending out health reminder letters and doing outreach calls, to help you complete important wellness visits, blood sugar tests, and breast imaging exams. These medical tests and exams are valuable in preventing harm through early detection. We look forward to teaming up with you in reaching a better level of health. For more information about our Outreach Coordinator, call Member Services at 800.678.7347.

Essential Health Benefits

Did you know that all Health Insurance Exchange plans offered on the Marketplace offer 10 Essential Health Benefits (EHBs)? Insurance plans also cannot put an annual or lifetime limit on how much you spend on these services.The 10 health benefits aren’t necessarily specific services; they’re more like categories of service. The 10 essential benefits are:

  • Outpatient care (also called ambulatory services)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Pediatric services, including dental and vision coverage for children
  • Preventive care
  • Laboratory services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization for surgery, overnight stays, and other conditions
  • Mental health coverage and substance use disorder services
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care

All individual and small-group health insurance plans are required by law to cover the 10 health benefits. Your care should be covered by your health insurance regardless of your plan’s metal tier.If you ever have questions about your coverage, please give us a call at 844.282.3025.

source: policygenius.com/health-insurance/essential-health-benefits/

Seasonal Key Flu Facts

Why should people get vaccinated against flu?

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu.

Who should get vaccinated?

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-11 influenza season.Vaccination to prevent flu is particularly important for people who are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. For example, flu vaccination has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.

When should I get vaccinated?

You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season.

Does the flu shot increase your risk of getting COVID-19?

There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccination and preventing flu is always important, but in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to do everything possible to reduce illnesses and preserve scarce health care resources.

source: cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm

What is Telemedicine?

As part of our commitment to continue delivering high quality care, CHRISTUS Clinics have expanded services to include video and telephone visits. We are poised to continue bringing you the same seamless, compassionate care you have come to expect, while also doing everything we can to minimize the spread of infectious disease throughout the communities we serve.A video visit is appropriate for most evaluations. A telephone visit is by phone only (no video), and is used if you do not have video capability. Patients can use video or telephone visits for simple illnesses like a cough or cold to more complicated conditions like diabetes or heart disease. If you start a video visit and your provider determines that you need an in-person visit, one will be arranged for you. 

All of us at CHRISTUS are here to answer any questions and help you get started with Telemedicine. CHRISTUS Health Plan members in Northeast Texas (in the CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd areas), can call 844.606.DOCS (3627). Members in all other areas can call 844.CPG.DOCS (844.274.3627). You can also visit ChristusVirtualMedicine.org for detailed instructions on scheduling a Telemedicine appointment and for answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

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