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

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?

2017 Individual Open Enrollment

LET’S GET READY

Schedule your appointment today

EVERYONE needs to schedule a phone call appointment to re-enroll for 2017 coverage.

The only exceptions are:

  • Medicare Supplement plan holders and
  • Individuals with grandfathered plans

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THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN

OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS TOMORROW! Our office is gearing up for the 2017 Open Enrollment season and we need you to get ready as well! Here are a few changes that you will see in 2017:

  • Blue Cross will move to a closed RX formulary, meaning some prescriptions simply will not be covered. On RX copay plans, members will have a generic RX copay but pay a coinsurance for all covered brand and non-preferred brand RX.
  • United Healthcare will not be an option for 2017. If you are currently enrolled with United Healthcare we will help you choose a new insurance company during our phone call.
  • Humana is discontinuing some of their individual plans for 2017. Watch for a letter about a specific plan design.
  • Vantage will remain an option on and off the Marketplace.

BE PREPARED

Here are a few things we will need you to have prepared for our phone call:

  • 2017 estimated household income. Make sure to include every person that is on your tax return.
  • Who will you claim on your 2017 tax return?
  • Married? As a reminder, you must file a joint tax return with your spouse.
  • Does your employer or your spouse’s employer offer group health insurance? If so, what is the cost for the employee only coverage?
  • Does your income fall between 138% and 400% of the FPL according to your tax size household?

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Let’s Set a Date!

Our time frame is super short this year, so we are setting appointments NOW. We have between November 1st and December 14th to make changes that will go into effect January 1st.

So… let’s set a date.

Please click the link above or call our office to schedule your appointment TODAY!

(225) 622-6554

Appointments will be scheduled every 30 minutes so we’ve got to talk fast and make a decision quick. Being prepared is a MUST this year!

We are happy and honored that you continue to choose us as your insurance broker. We strive to give you the best possible service before, during and after the enrollment. We love our clients and hope to make this enrollment season super easy for you.

Please show us plenty of grace and mercy as we help you, our valued clients, with this nearly impossible task of re-enrolling over 1,000 clients in 6 weeks. Have you done the math? Yeah… That’s 45 clients per day including Saturday and Sunday. Oh my…

Team #NoDaysOff #WeLoveOurClients

Trish Freeman, The Insurance Lady

(225) 622-6554

trish@insurancelady.com

Changes Happening to the 2017 Humana Drug Lists

Starting January 1, 2017,* some of the medicines covered by Humana’s prescription drug plan may change. 

What do these changes mean? Some medicines will have new requirements. (Specific state regulations may apply.) These requirements include:

  • Prior Authorization: The member’s doctor must contact Humana to get approval before he or she fills or refills a prescription for any medicine that requires prior authorization. His or her plan benefits won’t cover this medicine without prior authorization, and he or she will pay the entire cost of the medicine if he or she decides to buy it.
  • Step Therapy: Sometimes there’s more than one medicine that works to treat a health condition. Some medicines may cost less but work just as well. Before a prescription is filled for a medicine that costs more, the member may be asked to try at least one other medicine first.

If the member’s doctor thinks the other medicine isn’t right for him or her, he or she will need to request approval from Humana to use the medicine that costs more. His or her plan benefits won’t cover this medicine without approval, and he or she will pay the entire cost of the medicine if he or she decides to buy it.

  • Quantity Limits: A member has a limit on the amount of some medicines he or she can fill during a period of time. These limits can be placed on some drugs because of safety concerns and help prevent misuse of these drugs. If the member’s prescription is over the limit, there are two choices:He or she can get the amount of medicine that’s covered by his or her plan benefits and then pay out of pocket for any medicine that’s over the limit.

OR If his or her doctor thinks more medicine is needed, he or she can ask for approval from Humana for the amount of medicine that goes over the limit.

  • Tier Changes: The member’s medicine(s) is grouped into different tiers. For each tier, he or she will pay a different amount. If a member fills or refills a prescription for a medicine that’s moving to a different tier, he or she may have to pay more or less.
  • Not Covered: Starting January 1, 2017,* some medicine(s) will no longer be on the member’s Drug List. If a member fills or refills a prescription for any medicine that isn’t covered under his or her benefit plan, he or she will have to pay the full cost of the prescription.

The member’s doctor can ask Humana to make an exception to cover his or her drug if it’s not on our Drug List. Generally, Humana will only approve a request for an exception if the alternative covered drugs wouldn’t be as effective in treating his or her health condition and/or would cause adverse medical effects. To ask for an exception, the doctor can contact HCPR at 1-800-555-2546 between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Why is Humana making these changes? 
Humana reviews and updates the Drug List to help ensure safety and offer cost-effective choices for drug benefits. Updates to the drug list can happen when medicines have changes in dosing and prescribing guidelines. The selection of available medicines may also change. This can happen when a drug is removed from the market by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or a drug’s manufacturer, or a new drug becomes available and is added to the drug list.

Next steps
Visit Humana.com/Druglist after October 15, 2016 to review the latest Drug Lists and changes in 2017. If you have questions, please contact your Humana Sales Representative.

Humana clients and their employees will receive notification from us explaining these changes.

*For Texas, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico Fully Insured groups, these changes start on each group’s renewal date in 2017

Davis Vision Special Handling – Flood Affected Members

In response to the natural disaster that occurred in Louisiana, Davis Vision is capable and prepared to support members in the affected parishes that need eyeglasses or contacts regardless of past orders or frequency restrictions.  Davis has experience in these emergencies and has a process in place to support these situations.

Process for Members When Requesting Replacement Eyewear

As is the standard process for members today obtaining Davis benefits, when a member goes to an in network provider (which most BCBS LA members do today), the provider will submit a real-time authorization request to Davis for the requested service.

If the member has already received eyewear within the timeframe per their benefits, the system will return a denial.

However, the provider will contact Davis and obtain an authorization to submit the claim under warranty with no cost to the member.

Note: For members that have not already received eyewear and this is their first time obtaining equipment, their claims would follow the standard process and be subject to the copays according to their benefits.

 

Visit: davisvision.com