Oral health is linked to overall health

Many people don’t understand just how important our oral health is to our overall health. Preventative dental care is about more than clean white teeth, fresh breath and cavity prevention. Dentists’ area of expertise goes beyond just teeth and gums. Dentists are trained to recognize any abnormalities or warning signs in your:

  • Head, neck and jaw muscles
  • Tongue
  • Salivary glands
  • Nervous system of the head and neck

Additionally, dentists can detect symptoms of diseases that manifest in the mouth but affect your whole body.

How oral health is linked to overall health

Research has shown correlations between poor oral health and numerous diseases, including:

  • Heart disease: Medical studies have shown that oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause your arteries to harden and thicken, obstructing blood flow and setting the stage for a heart attack or stroke. Additionally, the bacteria can cause inflammation or infection of the heart.
  • Respiratory infections: Bacteria from gum disease can enter your lungs, which may lead to infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Diabetic complications: Some studies have established a connection between gum disease and insulin resistance indicating that poor oral health can create challenges in managing blood sugar levels.

As a result of these and other mouth-body correlations, the American Dental Association reports that the “World Health Organization has integrated oral health into its chronic disease prevention efforts.”

Practicing good oral health

Having good oral hygiene is vital to your overall quality of life. Your oral health impacts your employ ability, social life, self-esteem and, as pointed out above, your health.Now, let’s talk about what having good oral health means.

  • See a dentist regularly for cleanings and exams:  Your dentist can perform a much deeper and more thorough cleaning than you can.
  • Brush twice a day for two minutes each time: Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to clean your teeth and tongue.
  • Floss daily: Plaque and food debris like to hideout between teeth, so be sure to floss between every tooth. If you can’t or won’t floss, clean between your teeth carefully. Ask your dental hygienist for tips.
  • Avoid cigarettes and tobacco products: Kick these known cancer-causing products to the curb.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet: Limit intake of sugars and acidy drinks/foods as they can contribute to tooth decay. Rinse your mouth with water when you choose to indulge in any of these items.

Importance of dental coverage

If you don’t have dental insurance, get it. You’ll be more likely to go to the dentist if you have dental coverage.

Importance of oral health

It’s time we start viewing oral health differently and realizing the impact it has on our general wellbeing. If you haven’t seen your dentist in the last six months, schedule a dental checkup. Also, make sure you put the dental care tips we talked about above into practice now. A little preventative care can go a long way.

 

Call or email us for a dental quote today!

tori@insurancelady.com

(225) 622-6554

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Talk to your doctor about a drug before you fill it

Many people stop taking drugs because they cost too much, didn’t seem to work or had ugly side effects. If you stop taking a drug, your health problem may get worse and wind up costing you more later. You can save yourself from going down this path by asking your doctor a few easy questions:

About your coverage

  • Is the drug covered?
  • Why do I need this drug?
  • Will a generic work for me?
  • Do I need to try a generic or other drug first?
  • Is there an over-the-counter option?

About the drug

  • Are there any side effects?
  • How often should I take the drug?
  • For how long will I be taking the drug?
  • Must I avoid certain foods, drinks or other things while I’m taking the drug?
  • What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
  • How will the drug interact with other drugs I’m already taking?
  • Do I need to wait for approval?

 

Talking to your doctor about the drugs he or she orders is important. You’ll feel more comfortable taking a drug that best treats your health problem and have fewer surprises at the pharmacy.

 

Find out about Blue Cross covered drugs here

Find out about Humana covered drugs here

Free Identity Protection with AllClear ID

allclear2Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has joined all Blue plans around the country in offering free identity protection services to their customers.

The services, which are available through a partnership with AllClear ID, a national vendor specializing in identity protection, include:

  • Credit monitoring (this is not the same thing as credit score reporting)
  • Fraud protection
  • Identity repair, you are the victim of identity theft

While these services are available to Blue Cross customers, the protection extends beyond health information and claims data. If your credit or identity is at risk because of a store’s data breach or because your credit card is stolen, these services will protect you.

Do you want to get identity protection services in 2017 with AllClear ID? Here’s how:

  • If you enrolled with AllClear ID during 2016, you don’t need to re-enroll, you just need to renew. AllClear ID will check in with you to make sure you still want the services. If you do, you will be renewed.
  • If you have never signed up for these services but want them in 2017, you need to opt in. You will not get these services automatically. There are two ways you can do this:
    • Going to the website enroll.allclearid.com and entering the code “BCBSLA17;” or
    • Calling 1-855-229-0079 and asking to enroll for identity protection services, using the code “BCBSLA17

You only need to enroll one time and renew each year to be covered for free as long as you remain an eligible Blue Cross customer.

If you want more information about these services, visit bcbsla.com/allclear

Limited Time Offer: Gym Membership Enrollment Fee Waived with Blue365 Healthways Fitness Your Way

Through Feb. 28, 2017, Blue365 members can save money while getting fit!  Healthways Fitness Your Way has waived the $25 enrollment fee to 9,500+ gyms nationwide for the month of February only.  With the enrollment fee waived, gym membership is only $25 per month (plus local tax), with a 3-month commitment.

Healthways Fitness Your Way through Blue365 is one of the most flexible, affordable and accessible ways to adopt a healthy lifestyle and remain committed to it.  It’s easy to enroll:

  1. Go to Blue365Deals.com/BCBSLA and click Log In or Register.
  2. Under Fitness select Healthways Fitness Your Way and click on Redeem Now.
  3. You’ll be directed to the Healthways Fitness Your Way landing page where you can:
  • Find fitness locations by zip code
  • Review the Frequently Asked Questions before enrolling
  • Enter the code FebFit17 at checkout to waive your enrollment fee

For more information on the program click here.

Online doctor visits available 24/7

BlueCare is now available 24/7 to let customers have online doctor visits using a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or other internet-accessible device with a camera.

Telemedicine services are a benefit for all fully insured group and individual customers. The services are offered at the same cost share as a primary care physician-level office visit.

BlueCare and telemedicine offer customers expanded access to care outside of their doctors’ usual office hours, with greater convenience and at a lower cost than the emergency room. Since Blue Cross recently raised co-pays on ER visits up to $350 (previously from $150-$200, depending on plan type) across all non-grandfathered fully insured plans in 2017, BlueCare can be a good way for customers to get treatment for minor health issues and keep their out-of-pocket costs in line.

Some common conditions treated by telemedicine include cough or cold, bladder infections, mild stomach viruses, pink eye, rashes, allergies or sinusitis. Telemedicine can also be used for follow-up care and, in some cases, medication refills.

How do customers use BlueCare?
BlueCare is online at www.BlueCareLA.com. To have an online visit, customers need to use a laptop, desktop computer or other internet-accessible device with audiovisual capability so they can see and speak with the doctor. They can find out if a device is going to work for BlueCare before a visit by using the “Test Computer” link in the top-right corner of www.BlueCareLA.com.

  • To use BlueCare from a smartphone or tablet, customers can download the BlueCare app for Android and Apple devices by searching for “BlueCare” (one word) in the Apple App Store or Google Play.  Statistically, most users prefer accessing telemedicine services via mobile app.
  • On the first visit, customers will create a member account with a log-in ID and password that they will use each time they use BlueCare.  They can create the account using the web-based site (www.BlueCareLA.com) or the BlueCare mobile app, and use the same log-in information for both.
  • Once logged into the BlueCare site, customers will see a list of doctors available to treat them and can choose the one they want to see. Each BlueCare doctor has a short biography describing his/her experience, languages spoken, etc., which is posted on the site. All physicians are U.S. trained and board certified.

How much does BlueCare cost? 
All Blue Cross customers can use BlueCare by paying a flat fee, typically $39, at the time of the visit. Depending on the telemedicine benefits that are included on their plans (typically the same cost share as a PCP office visit), customers may receive a refund from Blue Cross once the claim has processed.

Who do I call if I am having trouble with BlueCare?
If you are having a technical problem with the www.BlueCareLA.com website or the BlueCare app for Android and Apple devices, call 1-855-269-3554 or email BlueCareSupport@americanwell.com.
 
How can I learn more about BlueCare?