Blue & You - Spring 2009

Heart of Gold; Affordable graduate gifts

Heart of Gold;
Affordable graduate gifts


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Affordable gift idea for the graduate: Page 7 <strong>Spring</strong> 09<br />

Heart<br />

Sheila Nettles<br />

gets help from<br />

Baptist Health<br />

and the <strong>Blue</strong> —<br />

her remarkable<br />

story is on Page 4<br />

of Gold<br />

from nurse to patient,<br />

Sheila Nettles experiences<br />

the other side of caregiving<br />

A publication for the policyholders of the Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield family of companies

on Page 10<br />

7 Affordable gift idea for the graduate<br />

10 Putting SilverSneakers at the top<br />

of his list<br />

18 Compare hospital costs online<br />

INSIDE<br />

3 Out of the <strong>Blue</strong><br />

4 Taking women’s cardiac health to heart<br />

8 Jonesboro stays True <strong>Blue</strong><br />

12 Weight loss pills warning<br />

Lose weight The Healthy Weigh!<br />

13 Don’t be a couch potato!<br />

Obesity linked to ovarian cancer<br />

14 Pay your premium by telephone or Web<br />

Celiac disease requires lifestyle changes<br />

15 <strong>Spring</strong> and allergies: Both in bloom<br />

16 ABCs of stress relief<br />

Have you used a skin-numbing product?<br />

17 Leaves of three — let them be<br />

19 New law requires members’ SS numbers<br />

Surcharges: What and why?<br />

20 Fitness Challenge: On the move<br />

21 The Doctor’s Corner<br />

22 From the Pharmacist:<br />

Sick with the flu? Stay home!<br />

23 Health Savings Account pharmacy benefit<br />

reminder<br />

Customer Service telephone numbers<br />

24 Good for you<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> 09<br />

is published four times a year by<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield for<br />

the company’s members, health-care<br />

professionals and other persons<br />

interested in health care and wellness.<br />

Vice President, Communications and Product Development: Karen Raley<br />

Editor: Kelly Whitehorn — BN<strong>You</strong>-Ed@arkbluecross.com<br />

Designer: Gio Bruno Photographer: Chip Bayer<br />

Contributors: Chip Bayer, Damona Fisher, Kristy Fleming, Jennifer Gordon,<br />

Trey Hankins, Heather Iacobacci-Miller, Ryan Kravitz, Kathy Luzietti and<br />

Mark Morehead

Out of the<br />

<strong>Blue</strong><br />

A message from our<br />

CEO and President,<br />

Mark White<br />

3<br />

As I begin my tenure as president and chief executive<br />

officer of Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield, I<br />

am mindful of the values on which our company was<br />

built. Those values include operating with integrity, making<br />

responsible financial decisions and serving as good<br />

custodians of our members’ trust by providing dependable<br />

service and valuable products. Our values have<br />

stood the test of time and will continue to serve our<br />

members well in these turbulent times. Although our<br />

leadership has changed, our mission and commitment<br />

to the people we serve have not.<br />

We know the economy is tough, and we understand<br />

that health care is expensive. At Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Cross, we remain focused on providing the best value<br />

in health insurance available in the market today. We<br />

honor our commitment to being good stewards of our<br />

members’ money through working to build large and<br />

affordable provider networks so that our members have<br />

access to high quality care. This commitment to value<br />

drives our focus on providing health information and<br />

support so that our members have the information they<br />

need to make good decisions in times of illness and to<br />

live healthier, more productive lives. Our commitment<br />

is visible in the service we provide, both through our<br />

regional offices around the state and by telephone, and<br />

in our assurance that our members’ claims are paid<br />

quickly and accurately.<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross provides peace of mind in<br />

difficult economic times. For more than 60 years, we’ve<br />

been part of the health care system in Arkansas. And<br />

our desire to meet<br />

Our values<br />

the health-care financing<br />

needs of Ar-<br />

have stood the test<br />

of time and will kansans in affordable<br />

ways has never been<br />

continue to serve<br />

stronger. We’ve built<br />

our members …<br />

our reputation on<br />

dependability and trustworthiness. We care about your<br />

health and your ability to pay for health care when you<br />

need it. And we thank you for allowing us to do so.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Taking women’s<br />

cardiac health<br />

to<br />

heart<br />

4<br />

Sheila Nettles with her four granddaughters: (clockwise<br />

from left) Amanda, Alexia, Madison and Kristen.<br />

Photo: Cary Nettles<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Working as a nurse, Sheila Nettles<br />

thought she was familiar with the signs and symptoms<br />

of cardiac problems, but in 1994 when she arrived at<br />

work huffing and puffing from the short walk inside,<br />

a friend who works in cardiology knew she was more<br />

than out of breath.<br />

“I didn’t realize I was having heart problems,”<br />

Sheila said, “but when I went in the next day for a<br />

stress test, I failed.”<br />

Sheila’s story is significant because it is so common.<br />

According to the National Women’s Health Information<br />

Center, among all U.S. women who die each<br />

year, one in four dies of heart disease. In 2004, nearly<br />

60 percent more women died of cardiovascular disease<br />

(both from heart disease and stroke) than from all cancers<br />

combined.<br />

Sheila, who was 51 at the time, was scheduled<br />

for angioplasty in one vessel and quickly slid back into<br />

her routine. She didn’t immediately make any lifestyle<br />

changes, thinking it was a small bump in her life’s journey<br />

and that she was “probably good to go.”<br />

Sheila was working in Oklahoma when she had<br />

the angioplasty but jumped at the opportunity to move<br />

back home to Little Rock in 2002, and join the nursing<br />

team at Baptist Health Medical Center. Her sons live in<br />

central Arkansas, and she was excited to spend more<br />

time with her granddaughters. As part of her move,<br />

Sheila switched insurance to Health Advantage, one of<br />

the companies under the Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Shield umbrella.<br />

Soon after her move however, she started having<br />

a similar, but different, feeling in her chest. “This time<br />

there was more pain,” she said, though not enough to<br />

make her panic. “It wasn’t a crushing pain, just a feeling<br />

— almost like a pinching sensation.”<br />

Sheila had become friends with a cardiology<br />

educator in the office next to hers, and she casually<br />

mentioned the strange feeling in her chest. Calmly, her<br />

friend suggested they go to the emergency room, and<br />

she sat Sheila down in a wheelchair before she could<br />

protest. Once again, tests showed she had a blockage<br />

in the same vessel; this time she needed a stent.<br />

Sheila said she never feared for her life — as a<br />

nurse at Baptist Health she knew she was in great<br />

hands — and after working for several years in rehabilitation,<br />

she had watched many patients recover from the<br />

same procedure. She also knew that through Health<br />

Advantage she had great health insurance coverage.<br />

And, she felt “completely at ease” with Gary Collins,<br />

M.D., the cardiologist who performed the procedure.<br />

“Treating the heart<br />

means treating the<br />

whole body,”<br />

Dr. Gary Collins said.<br />

“Treating the heart means treating the whole<br />

body,” Dr. Collins said, a philosophy that has gained<br />

Baptist Health the designation of a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction<br />

Center for Cardiac Care ® by <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield<br />

plans nationwide and the <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield<br />

Association.<br />

“We’re a multi-disciplinary medical center, so we<br />

have different specialists available at any given moment,”<br />

he said, adding that heart patients may need<br />

additional care for diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders<br />

or respiratory issues.<br />

The <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Centers for Cardiac Care ®<br />

program is designed to measurably improve the way<br />

health care is accessed and delivered. When Health Advantage<br />

members, like Sheila, have access to excellent<br />

health care, it means better results for her. It also gives<br />

her the information she needs when making a decision<br />

about where to have a surgery or procedure. When a<br />

hospital has been designated a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Center,<br />

you know they have expertise in that specialty.<br />

Cardiac, continued on Page 6<br />

5<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Sheila Nettles (left and inset) contemplates the<br />

statue in front of Baptist Health Medical Center<br />

depicting a helping hand to someone in need.<br />

Cardiac, continued from Page 5<br />

6<br />

For Dr. Collins, this means Baptist Health takes<br />

cardiac patients that other hospitals turn away because<br />

those hospitals don’t have the facilities or staff available<br />

to handle the possible complications. And, he said,<br />

Baptist has a record of providing medical care faster to<br />

heart patients than many other hospitals, which is<br />

critical to saving heart muscle tissue during and after a<br />

heart attack.<br />

In order to become a <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction Center, a<br />

hospital must meet high quality standards established<br />

by an expert panel of physicians, surgeons and other<br />

health-care professionals. When hospitals meet these<br />

standards, they demonstrate better outcomes for their<br />

patients.<br />

Other medical centers designated as <strong>Blue</strong> Distinction<br />

Centers for Cardiac Care ® in the Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield service area include CHRISTUS<br />

St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas, and St.<br />

Bernards Regional Medical Center in Jonesboro.<br />

Baptist Health Medical Center continues to follow<br />

patients as they go through rehabilitation and preventive<br />

therapy to keep their hearts healthy after their procedures.<br />

Dr. Collins said patients like Sheila are coached<br />

on their eating habits, checking their cholesterol and<br />

blood sugar, and stopping smoking.<br />

Members of Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross, Health Advantage<br />

and eligible members of <strong>Blue</strong>Advantage Administrators<br />

of Arkansas can get help taking care of<br />

their heart through our free Cardiovascular Education<br />

Program in HealthConnect <strong>Blue</strong> accessed through My<br />

<strong>Blue</strong>print, our self-service center on the Web.<br />

After her second procedure, Sheila joined a weightloss<br />

program through Baptist Health and changed her<br />

“Women … tend to put off<br />

going to the doctor when<br />

we don’t feel well … ,”<br />

Sheila said. “Don’t wait —<br />

get it checked out.”<br />

eating habits. She also started sharing with her younger<br />

sisters and girlfriends about the importance of heart<br />

health. As her granddaughters grow, she said she will<br />

be sharing that message with them as well.<br />

“Women need to pay attention to their health because<br />

we tend to put off going to the doctor when we<br />

don’t feel well but can’t put a finger on what is wrong,”<br />

Sheila said. “Don’t wait — get it checked out.”<br />

Signs of heart trouble<br />

Common to men and women:<br />

Chest or arm discomfort, shortness of breath,<br />

dizziness, nausea, abnormal heartbeats or<br />

feeling very tired.<br />

Women may also have:<br />

Heartburn, loss of appetite and coughing.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Affordable gift idea for the graduate<br />

<strong>You</strong>r son or daughter (or maybe grandchild) is about<br />

to graduate from college and you are struggling with<br />

a practical gift idea for the new graduate. Although he<br />

or she already may have an iPhone and a laptop, he or<br />

she may soon be without health insurance. After college,<br />

many young people “age off”<br />

Short-Term<br />

their parents’ insurance policy and<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> is a<br />

have not yet found a job that offers<br />

group coverage. That’s where you great idea for<br />

come in, and we can help. anyone who is<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> temporarily<br />

Shield offers an individual health<br />

uninsured.<br />

plan, Short-Term <strong>Blue</strong>, for anyone<br />

who is temporarily uninsured. Here’s the best news<br />

about this plan — it’s very affordable!<br />

Other important information about Short-Term <strong>Blue</strong>:<br />

1. Short-Term <strong>Blue</strong> has no monthly premium — you<br />

make one non-refundable payment for the term<br />

of the policy (if you apply online, you can use your<br />

credit card, or have the premium drafted from your<br />

bank account).<br />

2. Coverage can be for a minimum of 30 days up to a<br />

maximum of 182 days.<br />

3. The graduate can apply online (remember, the graduate<br />

must complete the application and provide bank<br />

draft or credit card information at the time of the<br />

application — although you can give him or her your<br />

account information if you want to pay for it).<br />

4. There are only a few quick and easy eligibility<br />

questions to answer.<br />

5. The policyholder will have access to more than<br />

6,700 doctors and hospitals.<br />

6. The graduate must live in Arkansas.<br />

7. This policy will cover any unexpected illnesses,<br />

diseases or accidents. It does not cover pre-existing<br />

conditions or prescription drugs. Covered benefits,<br />

excluded benefits and more information can be<br />

found online at arkansasbluecross.com.<br />

8. If the policy ends while the covered member is hospitalized,<br />

he or she may be eligible for an extension<br />

of benefits.<br />

We know you want to make sure the new graduate<br />

has one less thing to worry about while searching for<br />

a job; this gift will show your thoughtfulness as well as<br />

give him or her some peace of mind.<br />

And, Short-Term <strong>Blue</strong> is a great idea for anyone<br />

who is temporarily uninsured -— whether you are between<br />

jobs, working part-time, recently retired and not<br />

yet eligible for Medicare, or a new employee temporarily<br />

without coverage.<br />

For more information about Short-Term <strong>Blue</strong>, visit<br />

arkansasbluecross.com or call 1-800-392-2583 or your<br />

local independent or Farm Bureau agent.<br />

7<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Jonesboro stays<br />

True <strong>Blue</strong><br />

8<br />

Jonesboro may be the home of the Arkansas State<br />

University Red Wolves, but the city has been true <strong>Blue</strong><br />

since 1975 — that’s the year city employees enrolled<br />

with Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield for group<br />

health insurance coverage. And, according to Jonesboro<br />

Mayor Harold Perrin, the city could not be more pleased.<br />

“Because we are a government entity, we have to<br />

bid our health insurance,” said Perrin, who served for 15<br />

years on the city council before moving into the mayor’s<br />

office on Jan. 1, <strong>2009</strong>. “And over the years, Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross has come in with the low bid. I can’t remember<br />

them ever being outbid. In addition, the service they<br />

provide is great. They service the account, and service<br />

is something I look at closely. As mayor, I’ve got to take<br />

care of my people.”<br />

The city has more than 500 full-time employees, but<br />

when you add the employees at the library, airport and<br />

housing authority — who also are covered in the account<br />

— the membership roll is more than 600.<br />

“And,” added Gloria Roark, director of Human Resources<br />

for the City of Jonesboro, “the city also offers<br />

several products through USAble [Life].”<br />

Since 2000, a big part of the customer service city<br />

employees have come to appreciate is the Northeast<br />

Regional Office, located a few blocks from downtown<br />

Jonesboro.<br />

“Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross has worked closely with the<br />

City of Jonesboro’s leadership and membership over<br />

our long relationship,” said Connie Meeks, M.D., medical<br />

director of the Northeast Regional Office. “Since the<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Gloria Roark, director of Human<br />

Resources for the City of Jonesboro,<br />

and Jonesboro Mayor Harold<br />

Perrin both cite value and superior<br />

customer service as reasons the<br />

city has been a group member<br />

with Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Shield since 1975.<br />

9<br />

regional office was established<br />

we have been able<br />

to provide even more value<br />

with local initiatives.”<br />

Through the regional office, Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross<br />

has offered regular onsite benefit meetings at all city<br />

locations — including City Hall, Public Works, the Fire<br />

Department and the Police Department — during and<br />

after work hours.<br />

“We take advantage of the opportunity to help<br />

members with any questions, but also, we are able to<br />

educate them about new health information and wellness<br />

tools like HealthConnect <strong>Blue</strong>.”<br />

In fact, Jonesboro has been participating in the Diabetes<br />

HealthCheck program since its inception in 2005.<br />

“I call programs like that an ‘extraplus’,”<br />

said Perrin. “Providing seminars<br />

about health and wellness, and the diabetes<br />

program in particular — they don’t have<br />

to do that.”<br />

Jonesboro currently is participating in the newly organized<br />

employer alliance, Community HealthCheck, the<br />

goals of which include improving the quality of health of<br />

employees and members in the community.<br />

“Having Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross here is not just good<br />

for the City of Jonesboro, it’s good for our citizens as<br />

well,” said Perrin. “It helps Jonesboro, trust me. It’s a<br />

great selling point for economic development in Jonesboro.<br />

We are the medical community in Northeast<br />

Arkansas and Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross is a big part of that.”<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Putting<br />

SilverSneakers<br />

at the top of his list<br />

10<br />

After losing his footing, Aubrey Scott fell<br />

10 feet to the ground.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Ask Aubrey Scott about<br />

exercise and he’ll tell you, “It’s on<br />

the top of my list today.” But when<br />

he fell from the top — to the bottom<br />

— of a 10-foot ladder, Aubrey found<br />

out just how important his exercise<br />

regimen with the SilverSneakers<br />

Fitness Program through Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield really is!<br />

Aubrey, 86, was referred to<br />

SilverSneakers at the Northeast<br />

Arkansas Wellness Center in Jonesboro,<br />

by his long-time friend and<br />

physician, Ray Hall, M.D., in January<br />

2008. All Medi-Pak and<br />

Medi-Pak Advantage<br />

members are eligible<br />

for this free exercise<br />

program.<br />

It didn’t take long before Aubrey<br />

was participating in the muscle<br />

strength and range-of-motion class<br />

and joining the free-form activities.<br />

Even walking at the center gives him<br />

a chance to catch up with old friends<br />

and make new ones. And while<br />

it may feel as if he and his wife,<br />

Margaret, also 86, are just enjoying<br />

time with friends, they also are<br />

preventing disease, improving their<br />

mental health and acuity, increasing<br />

cardiovascular endurance, improving<br />

muscle strength and gaining flexibility<br />

through greater range of motion.<br />

And that can add even more years<br />

to the 61 they already have enjoyed<br />

together.<br />

All his physical agility was put<br />

to the test recently when Aubrey<br />

decided to climb the ladder to his<br />

son’s attic. After losing his footing,<br />

he fell 10 feet to the<br />

ground. Shaken, Aubrey<br />

and Margaret immediately<br />

went to the doctor to assess<br />

his injuries, fearing the worst.<br />

Instead, he was delighted to hear he<br />

had no injuries at all. Aubrey said he<br />

feels certain his active lifestyle and<br />

participation in the SilverSneakers<br />

Fitness Program made all the difference<br />

in the outcome of his fall.<br />

“Kara Phillips does a wonderful<br />

job of keeping us very active from<br />

the top of our head to the soles of<br />

our feet,” Aubrey said of the SilverSneakers<br />

professional fitness<br />

trainer at the center. Instructors in<br />

the SilverSneakers Fitness Program<br />

are certified and receive in-depth<br />

training in providing exercise that<br />

is specific to the needs of seniors.<br />

Aubrey said Kara “provides a personal<br />

touch” to the program. He and<br />

Margaret enjoy the classes so much<br />

that they have asked for additional<br />

classes to be offered. “It is a very<br />

beneficial program for maintaining a<br />

level of fitness year round, especially<br />

when the weather may prevent<br />

outside activities.”<br />

To enroll in SilverSneakers,<br />

Medi-Pak and Medi-Pak Advantage<br />

members can go to a participating<br />

fitness center near them and<br />

show their ID card. Participating<br />

locations in Arkansas can be found<br />

at silversneakers.com. The Fitness<br />

center staff will assist with enrollment<br />

and provide tours of the<br />

locations.<br />

11<br />

Aubrey Scott said he feels<br />

certain his active lifestyle<br />

and participation in<br />

the SilverSneakers<br />

Fitness Program<br />

made all the difference in<br />

the outcome of his fall.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Weight-loss pills<br />

warning<br />

12<br />

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration<br />

(FDA) is seeking a recall on<br />

weight-loss pills that could potentially<br />

pose serious health risks to<br />

consumers. Some products being<br />

touted as “dietary supplements”<br />

claiming to be “natural” or containing<br />

“herbal” ingredients actually<br />

contain “undeclared, active pharmaceutical<br />

ingredients that may put<br />

consumers’ health at risk.” The FDA<br />

is urging consumers to not purchase<br />

or take these weight-loss pills due<br />

to health risks such as high blood<br />

pressure, seizures, or even heart<br />

attack or stroke. Just one more reason<br />

to lose weight the natural and<br />

healthy way.<br />

For a full list of products being<br />

recalled, visit the FDA’s Web<br />

site at www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/<br />

NEWS/2008/NEW01933.html.<br />

Lose weight<br />

The Healthy Weigh!<br />

The Healthy Weigh! Education<br />

Program is free for members<br />

of Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Shield, Health Advantage, <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield Service<br />

Benefit Plan (Federal Employee<br />

Program), and eligible members<br />

of <strong>Blue</strong>Advantage Administrators<br />

of Arkansas.<br />

To enroll, complete the attached<br />

enrollment form and return<br />

it in the self-addressed, postagepaid<br />

envelope included in this<br />

magazine. The program starts<br />

when you enroll.<br />

After enrollment,<br />

you will begin to receive<br />

information through the<br />

mail, which you can read<br />

in the privacy of your<br />

own home and at your<br />

own pace. The program<br />

is completely voluntary,<br />

and you may leave the<br />

program at any time. If<br />

you have further questions<br />

about the program,<br />

call the Health Education<br />

Program’s toll-free number<br />

at 1-800-686-2609.<br />

Simply<br />

complete,<br />

sign and<br />

return the<br />

attached<br />

enrollment<br />

form in<br />

the selfaddressed,<br />

postagepaid<br />

envelope.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Don’t be a couch potato!<br />

If your husband or son or father<br />

is overweight, we know he has a<br />

risk factor for heart disease. However,<br />

most people may think that just<br />

a few extra pounds is OK. Not true.<br />

A study, recently published in the<br />

medical journal, Circulation, showed<br />

that a few extra pounds along with<br />

inactivity raises the risk of heart<br />

failure in men.<br />

As much as two thirds of the<br />

adult population are overweight,<br />

if not obese. Basically, the study<br />

showed that it doesn’t matter if you<br />

are an overweight couch potato or<br />

a lean couch potato, exercise could<br />

extend your life.<br />

13<br />

Obesity linked to ovarian cancer<br />

A new study suggests a link between<br />

obesity in women and ovarian<br />

cancer, which is the fifth leading cancer<br />

of U.S. women. Researchers found<br />

that obese women were 26 percent<br />

more likely to develop ovarian cancer<br />

than those at a healthy weight, but that<br />

figure increased to 80 percent for obese<br />

postmenopausal women who never<br />

used hormone replacement therapy. The<br />

findings suggest that obesity increases<br />

the risk of ovarian cancer through hormonal<br />

effects. The major implication is<br />

a familiar one — maintaining a healthy<br />

weight is important.<br />

Source: Medline Plus<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Pay your premium over the<br />

telephone or on the Web!<br />

Making your payment just got easier.<br />

If you have an individual or family policy (not<br />

through an employer) with Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Shield, we now offer two convenient and secure<br />

ways to pay your premium.<br />

1. <strong>You</strong> can call Customer Service at 1-800-238-8379,<br />

and a representative can take your payment information<br />

over the telephone.<br />

2. Or, you can pay your premium online for free:<br />

a. Go to arkansasbluecross.com.<br />

b. Visit (or register for) the member self-service<br />

center (My <strong>Blue</strong>print).<br />

c. Select “Pay Premiums Online” and follow the<br />

instructions.<br />

If you have any questions about either of the premium<br />

payment options, please call Customer Service<br />

at 1-800-238-8379.<br />

14<br />

Celiac disease requires<br />

lifestyle changes<br />

Does someone you know have an upset stomach • Behavior changes/depression/irritability<br />

that won’t settle down? He or she may want to get • Vitamin K deficiency<br />

checked for celiac disease. Celiac disease is a lifelong, • Canker sores, tooth discoloration or loss of enamel<br />

autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack Because celiac disease is chronic, the only treatment<br />

is a gluten-free diet. Adapting to the gluten-free<br />

itself when a person eats foods that contain a protein<br />

called gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and diet requires some lifestyle changes. It is essential to<br />

many other grains. If celiac<br />

disease is left untreated, damage<br />

to the small bowel can be<br />

chronic and life threatening.<br />

Symptoms of celiac<br />

disease may include:<br />

• Recurring bloating, gas or<br />

abdominal pain<br />

• Chronic diarrhea or constipation with pale, foulsmelling<br />

stool<br />

• Unexplained weight loss or gain<br />

• Anemia, fatigue, weakness or lack of energy<br />

• Bone or joint pain<br />

Celiac disease can<br />

be chronic and<br />

life threatening.<br />

read labels and learn how to<br />

identify foods that are gluten<br />

free. (Potential harmful ingredients<br />

include starches, binders,<br />

fillers and malt.)<br />

Gluten also may be used<br />

as a binder in some pharmaceutical<br />

products. <strong>You</strong> can ask your pharmacist for help<br />

in identifying medications that contain gluten.<br />

Source: National Institutes of Health<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

<strong>Spring</strong> and allergies:<br />

A seasonal allergy is<br />

essentially an<br />

allergic reaction<br />

to something that is<br />

only present for part<br />

of the year.<br />


The warm winds of spring usually<br />

are a welcomed respite after a to something that is only present<br />

is essentially an allergic reaction<br />

long, cold winter. But those blooming<br />

flowers and trees, while provid-<br />

the spring or fall. In the spring, the<br />

for part of the year — usually in<br />

ing a colorful relief from gray skies, culprit is almost certainly pollen — a<br />

also bring something else.<br />

powdery grain released from flowering<br />

plants.<br />

Allergies.<br />

It is estimated that almost<br />

In a state like Arkansas, known<br />

40 million Americans suffer from for its natural beauty, the potential<br />

seasonal allergies — what we often for large amounts of pollen in the<br />

refer to as “hay fever.” This results air during the spring and summer<br />

in approximately 8 million annual months is rather high.<br />

visits to the doctor and billions of<br />

dollars spent on medications. What’s a person to do?<br />

U. S. companies always report higher<br />

absenteeism during the spring, allergist can help you determine<br />

If your allergies are severe, an<br />

as a direct result of allergies. which allergens affect you the most.<br />

So, what exactly causes all In some cases, allergy shots are<br />

this fuss? It can be any number necessary to alleviate symptoms. In<br />

of things. But a seasonal allergy most people, however, some simple<br />

steps can help a great deal in reducing<br />

your exposure to pollen and its<br />

ill effects.<br />

• Keep windows closed to prevent<br />

pollen from getting in your home.<br />

• Keep car windows closed while<br />

driving.<br />

• Stay indoors when the pollen<br />

count is expected to be high.<br />

• Avoid early-morning outdoor<br />

activity. Pollen is usually emitted<br />

between 5 and 10 a.m.<br />

• Take a vacation to somewhere<br />

with less pollen, like the beach,<br />

during the height of the pollen<br />

season.<br />

• Machine dry your laundry. Pollen<br />

collects on laundry that is line<br />

dried.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong>time allergens are inevitable.<br />

But you can fight back.<br />

Sources: Centers for Diseases<br />

Control and Prevention, U.S. Department<br />

of Health and Human Services<br />

15<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

16<br />

ABCs of stress relief<br />

We all have stress in our lives. It’s impossible to avoid it. Unfortunately,<br />

too much stress can have a negative affect on our health. While we<br />

can’t avoid it entirely, there may be some things we can do to help relieve<br />

stress in our lives. Just remember your ABCs.<br />

A<br />

• Avoid stress when possible by learning to say, “no,” and cutting down<br />

that out-of-control to-do list.<br />

• Accept the unavoidable or unchangeable – you can’t change everything.<br />

• Adjust unreasonable expectations.<br />

B<br />

• Breathe — Stop and take a deep breath; then, reassess the stressful<br />

situation from a calmer perspective. Breathing exercises can help you<br />

to refocus, relax and reduce your heart rate.<br />

• Be kind to yourself by setting aside time to do something you enjoy like<br />

C<br />

taking a walk, reading a book or magazine or talking with a friend.<br />

• Change your expectations and attitude by finding the positives or taking<br />

a new look at the problem.<br />

• Compromise by finding a middle ground rather than always expecting<br />

change to come from others.<br />

Source: Helpguide, Texas Woman’s University and WebMD<br />

For more ways to beat stress, check out the Relax ® program behind My <strong>Blue</strong>print on our Web sites.<br />

Have you used a skin-numbing<br />

If you have used a coma or death.<br />

skin-numbing product, take So what are they? Skin-numbing products, or topical<br />

anesthetics, are used to numb the surface of the<br />

note — according to the<br />

U.S. Food and Drug Administration<br />

(FDA), they may in medical procedures, but they also may be used in<br />

skin. Trained medical professionals frequently use them<br />

cause serious side effects cosmetic procedures or used to relieve pain, burning or<br />

including irregular heartbeat, itching due to a variety of medical conditions. They are<br />

seizures, difficulty breathing, available with a prescription and over the counter. They<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Leaves of three<br />

let them be<br />

“I don’t know how I got poison ivy.”<br />

Well, it’s probably easier than you think. Did you give your dog a hug after he came in<br />

from the backyard? Take a hike down a local trail? Burn some brush and sticks while on a<br />

camping trip?<br />

Poison ivy, oak or sumac can be just about anywhere, and it sticks to everything. If you<br />

have ever had a case of the infamous itch, you know you want to avoid it.<br />

Poison ivy, sumac and oak contain an oil called urushiol (you-ROO-shee-all). When this oil<br />

touches the skin, many people develop an allergic reaction that causes a rash.<br />

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to be able to recognize these plants — and<br />

then avoid them — when you see them in the woods or in your backyard.<br />

Poison<br />

ivy<br />

Poison<br />

sumac<br />

Poison<br />

oak<br />

17<br />

If you accidently come in contact with one of these plants, wash your skin well with lukewarm<br />

water and soap. All clothing should be laundered, and everything else that may be contaminated<br />

with urushiol should be washed thoroughly. Urushiol can remain active for a long<br />

time. For mild cases, cool showers and an over-the-counter product that eases itching can be<br />

effective. Oatmeal baths and baking-soda mixtures also can sooth the discomfort. When a severe<br />

reaction develops, contact your physician or dermatologist. Prescription medication may<br />

be needed to reduce the swelling and itch.<br />

product?<br />

contain anesthetic drugs such as lidocaine or benzocaine<br />

and come as creams, ointments or gels that are<br />

applied to the surface of the skin and then absorbed<br />

into the blood stream.<br />

According to the FDA, with topical anesthetics, you<br />

should not:<br />

• Apply heavily over large areas of the skin<br />

• Use formulas stronger than necessary<br />

• Apply to broken or irritated skin<br />

• Wrap treated skin with plastic or other dressings<br />

• Apply heat from a heating pad to treated areas<br />

As with any medication, remember to use only<br />

as directed.<br />

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

18<br />

Compare<br />

hospital<br />

costs<br />

online<br />

<strong>You</strong>r husband’s doctor has recommended surgery<br />

or a procedure that requires he spend time in the hospital.<br />

So you may want to compare the quality of the care<br />

that different hospitals have provided for the recommended<br />

surgery or procedure. There are differences<br />

between hospitals, and Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Shield can provide you with information on how<br />

hospitals perform.<br />

<strong>You</strong> may want information on how many patients<br />

have been admitted for this surgery, or the<br />

number of deaths or complications related to this<br />

surgery at this hospital, or how many days someone<br />

who had this surgery remained in the hospital. And<br />

now, if you are looking for cost information related to<br />

this type of surgery, it also is available online.<br />

To get this information and much more, visit the<br />

member self-service center (My <strong>Blue</strong>print) of our Web<br />

sites (see complete list on Page 23) and select “Compare<br />

hospital quality.” This will allow you to compare<br />

hospitals in your area. With this tool (WebMD Hospital<br />

Advisor), members may compare how the hospitals selected<br />

have performed when treating other members of<br />

the health plan or when treating those on Medicare.<br />

The “Cost” category represents the amount a<br />

hospital may be paid by the health plan in comparison<br />

to other hospitals in the state. This category<br />

does not represent the amount you pay. The<br />

hospitals are rated by the following categories —<br />

Low Cost, Average Cost and High Cost — in comparison<br />

to other hospitals.<br />

Visit our Web site and you’ll find hospital information<br />

you need to help you make informed decisions<br />

about your health care and the health-care needs of<br />

your family.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

New law requires<br />

members’<br />

Social Security<br />

numbers<br />

On Jan. 1, <strong>2009</strong>, a new<br />

federal health coverage reporting<br />

law came into effect that requires<br />

health insurers and thirdparty<br />

administrators to provide<br />

Social Security numbers from<br />

members of group health plans<br />

to the Centers for Medicare and<br />

Medicaid Services (CMS). This<br />

information will allow Medicare<br />

to properly coordinate payments<br />

with other health plans and/or<br />

workers’ compensation benefits.<br />

Section 111 of Public Law<br />

110-173, also known as the<br />

Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP<br />

Extension Act of 2007, requires<br />

group health plans, insurers,<br />

third-party administrators and<br />

plan administrators or fiduciaries<br />

of self-insured/self-administered<br />

group health plans to report information<br />

required for purposes of<br />

coordination of benefits.<br />

Because of this law, you<br />

may receive a letter in the mail<br />

from Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Shield, Health Advantage or<br />

<strong>Blue</strong>Advantage Administrators of<br />

Arkansas asking for Social Security<br />

numbers for you and/or your<br />

dependent(s). Simply write in the<br />

information and return the letter<br />

using the enclosed postage paid<br />

envelope by the date requested.<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross (and its<br />

family of companies) is committed<br />

to your privacy and holds<br />

your information in complete<br />

confidence. In accordance with<br />

applicable laws, including the<br />

Privacy Act of 1074 and the<br />

Health Insurance Portability and<br />

Accountability Act Privacy Rule,<br />

CMS also maintains your confidentiality.<br />

We appreciate your assistance<br />

in providing this information.<br />

Please call the Customer<br />

Service number for your health<br />

plan listed on Page 23 if you<br />

have any questions.<br />

Surcharges on<br />

individual and<br />

family policies:<br />

What and<br />

why?<br />

If you have applied for Arkansas<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield individual<br />

coverage, you may have noticed a “surcharge”<br />

on your policy. A surcharge is<br />

an additional cost added to your premium<br />

for a medical condition (for example,<br />

high blood pressure, high cholesterol,<br />

allergies, etc.).<br />

Offering affordable health insurance<br />

is important at Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross.<br />

One way we reduce the cost of individual<br />

health insurance is to underwrite<br />

applicants. Underwriting allows us to<br />

assess the potential for risk associated<br />

with each applicant. If an applicant is<br />

high risk, we have three options:<br />

1. Charge a higher premium.<br />

2. Exclude the condition that has<br />

increased the risk.<br />

3. Decline to offer coverage.<br />

We use the first two options when<br />

necessary and only decline coverage as<br />

a last resort. Sometimes, the only way<br />

we can offer coverage is to add an additional<br />

cost (surcharge) to the premium.<br />

For more information about individual<br />

and family insurance plans (for<br />

those under age 65 and not covered<br />

by Medicare), visit arkansasbluecross.<br />

com or call 1-800-392-2583 or your local<br />

independent or Farm Bureau agent.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong><br />


20<br />

The <strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> Fitness Challenge<br />

is in full swing after a record<br />

205 groups (with an eligible population<br />

of more than 110,000 participants)<br />

from throughout the United<br />

States have pledged to “invest in<br />

fitness” for <strong>2009</strong>.<br />

“Exercise requires only a small<br />

investment of time and movement<br />

and promises a great rate of return<br />

on your health,” said Richard<br />

Cooper, vice president of Human<br />

Resources and team champion<br />

for Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Shield. “More than 110,000 Americans<br />

are eligible to make a move<br />

toward better health by participating<br />

in the Challenge this year.”<br />

This is the sixth year for the<br />

Challenge, which is hosted by<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross, the Arkansas<br />

Department of Health and the Arkansas<br />

Department of Human Services.<br />

The exercise contest encourages<br />

participants to work toward<br />

the public health recommendation<br />

of adult physical activity 30 minutes<br />

each day, most days of the week.<br />

Groups — representing large<br />

and small companies, banks,<br />

schools and universities, physician<br />

offices, churches, hospitals and government<br />

agencies — are ranked by<br />

size for the competition. At the end<br />

of the contest, winners will be announced<br />

in each group size catego-<br />

More than<br />

110,000<br />

eligible<br />

participants<br />

for <strong>2009</strong>.<br />

ry. Groups whose participants have<br />

the greatest participation and<br />

score the highest in<br />

four categories of measurements<br />

will be the overall winners of the<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> Fitness Challenge.<br />

Governor Mike Beebe<br />

declared February 24 as “Fitness<br />

Challenge” day in<br />

Arkansas in recognition of the contest<br />

in a decree that was unveiled at<br />

the contest kickoff.<br />

Didn’t get signed up this year?<br />

Watch groups as they progress in<br />

real time at <strong>Blue</strong>And<strong>You</strong>FitnessChallenge-ark.com<br />

this year and plan to<br />

be part of the fun in 2010.<br />

Special note: Before beginning any<br />

exercise program, always consult<br />

your physician.<br />

On the move<br />

with the Fitness Challenge<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

The<br />

Doctor’s<br />

Corner<br />

Colonoscopies and PSAs<br />

after age 75?<br />

The U.S. Preventive Services<br />

by Ray Bredfeldt, M.D.,<br />

Regional Medical Director<br />

Northwest Region, Fayetteville<br />

Task Force, the most respected<br />

preventive health organization in<br />

the country, recently recommend-<br />

headaches, epilepsy, chronic pain,<br />

and inflammatory bowel disease.<br />

Free drug samples come<br />

with a cost.<br />

Has your doctor ever given<br />

you a free sample of a medication?<br />

Probably. <strong>You</strong>r doctor gets those<br />

samples from the pharmaceutical<br />

companies as a way to advertise<br />

their products. However, a new<br />

study shows that these samples<br />

may not be such a good deal for<br />

you. Pharmaceutical companies<br />

usually provide samples of the<br />

most expensive medications. On<br />

average, people who receive free<br />

samples spend 50 percent more on<br />

medications than those who receive<br />

a prescription for a less expensive<br />

medication. So, go ahead and be<br />

thankful for those free samples —<br />

just remember to ask your doctor if<br />

there is a less expensive alternative<br />

when the sample runs out.<br />

ed against receiving a screening<br />

colonoscopy after age 75. The Task<br />

Force also recommended that men<br />

above age 75 no longer receive the<br />

PSA (prostate-specific antigen test).<br />

The Task Force believes that the<br />

risks associated with screening and<br />

follow-up testing and treatment of<br />

abnormal results cause more harm<br />

than good after that age. In addition,<br />

the Task Force recommended that<br />

men younger than 75 ask their doctors<br />

about the potential risks and<br />

lack of evidence for PSA screening.<br />

Take your Vitamin D!<br />

Is Vitamin D the new wonder<br />

drug? According to several studies,<br />

Vitamin D seems to play an important<br />

role not only in bone formation<br />

but many other things. A recent<br />

study in the Archives of Internal<br />

Medicine has shown that Vitamin D<br />

deficiency is linked to an increased<br />

risk for coronary artery disease,<br />

Arthritis of the knee?<br />

Surgery may not be the<br />

best bet.<br />

Arthroscopic surgery into the<br />

knee joint to remove debris from<br />

the knee is a common procedure for<br />

people with degenerative arthritis.<br />

The hope is that knee pain will<br />

improve after the debris is removed.<br />

Each year in the United States, several<br />

hundred thousand arthroscopic<br />

surgeries are performed for this reason.<br />

However, a recent study in the<br />

New England Journal of Medicine<br />

reported that the people who had<br />

the surgery along with medication<br />

and physical therapy did not have a<br />

better outcome than those who only<br />

received medication and physical<br />

therapy. The surgery appears to add<br />

no benefit but does add unneeded<br />

risk and cost.<br />

21<br />

several types of cancer, migraine<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Sick with the flu? Stay home!<br />

22<br />

The flu season got a slow start<br />

this year, but don’t be fooled; chances<br />

are we still will get our fair share<br />

of sore throats, aches and fever.<br />

If you haven’t already gotten<br />

one, it isn’t too late for a flu shot.<br />

The Centers for Disease Control and<br />

Prevention (CDC) recently said that<br />

the 2008-09 vaccine is effective in<br />

preventing or reducing the severity<br />

of illness with currently circulating<br />

flu viruses. The CDC also warned,<br />

however, that the flu virus circulating<br />

this year is resistant to the<br />

antiviral medication oseltamivir, also<br />

known as Tamiflu, but that other<br />

antiviral medications are working<br />

against the virus.<br />

So, as a pharmacist, what’s the<br />

best advice I have if that weak, achy<br />

feeling starts to hit you? Stay home!<br />

And don’t think your boss will be<br />

mad if you do. According to the<br />

2007 CCH Unscheduled Absence<br />

Survey, 87 percent of employers<br />

report that sick employees who<br />

show up to work are suffering from<br />

short-term illnesses such as a cold<br />

When sick<br />

employees show up<br />

for work, known as<br />

“presenteeism,”<br />

there is a significant<br />

and costly impact on<br />

an organization.<br />

or flu, which can be easily spread.<br />

CCH is a leading provider of human<br />

resources and employment law<br />

information and services.<br />

When sick employees show<br />

up for work, known as “presenteeism,”<br />

there is a significant and costly<br />

impact on an organization, not only<br />

in terms of risking the spread of<br />

disease, but also in terms of diminished<br />

productivity, quality and<br />

attention to safety. Overall, the CCH<br />

Survey found that 38 percent of employers<br />

report presenteeism being a<br />

problem in their organizations.<br />

The CDC estimates that individuals<br />

who get the flu may be able<br />

to infect others from the day before<br />

their symptoms develop, to five<br />

days after becoming sick.<br />

Technology today allows many<br />

of us the ability to work from home<br />

if needed. If you simply can’t stay<br />

away from the office, here are some<br />

ways to stop the spread of germs:<br />

• Avoid high-traffic areas in your<br />

building where your co-workers<br />

may come in contact with you.<br />

• Do as much communication as<br />

possible by telephone and e-mail.<br />

Shut your office door to keep out<br />

visitors.<br />

• Cover your mouth and nose<br />

when you sneeze or cough.<br />

• Clean your hands often and use<br />

antiseptic lotions.<br />

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose<br />

or mouth.<br />

Sources: The Centers for Disease<br />

Control and Prevention, CCH<br />

From the<br />

Pharmacist<br />

by Brandon Griffin, Pharm D.,<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

Health Savings Account<br />

pharmacy benefit reminder<br />

Do you have a Health Savings Account High Deductible<br />

Health Plan through Health Advantage? If you<br />

do, you might not realize that you are eligible for network<br />

discounts at your pharmacy. Also be sure your<br />

pharmacy submits your claims through your insurance<br />

so that they can be applied to your deductible.<br />

There are a few pharmacies that have not submitted<br />

claims to the insurance companies because the<br />

pharmacist has stated that he/she could offer a better<br />

cash price than what the insurance company would<br />

otherwise allow. However, when a pharmacy offers a<br />

price lower than what your insurance normally charges,<br />

they still should send the cash price to the insurance<br />

company as the submitted cost.<br />

If your pharmacist informs you that your medication<br />

would cost less if you paid cash without running<br />

the claim through your insurance, please ask him/her to<br />

submit the cash price to the insurance company. If the<br />

cash price is less than what we would normally allow,<br />

then the claim system will only charge you the cash<br />

price (the lower price). Running the claim through insurance<br />

also allows the paid amount to be applied to your<br />

deductible.<br />

If your pharmacy refuses to submit their cash price<br />

to your insurance company, please contact your insurance<br />

company’s customer service department so that<br />

this situation can be remedied.<br />

We love to hear from you!<br />

May we help? For customer service please call:<br />

Little Rock<br />

Number (501)<br />

Toll-free<br />

Number<br />

Medi-Pak members 378-3062 1-800-338-2312<br />

Medi-Pak Advantage or Medi-Pak Rx 1-866-390-3369<br />

Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross members 378-2010 1-800-238-8379<br />

Pharmacy questions 1-800-863-5561<br />

Specialty Rx Pharmacy questions 1-866-295-2779<br />

Health Advantage members 378-2363 1-800-843-1329<br />

Pharmacy questions 1-800-863-5567<br />

<strong>Blue</strong>Advantage members 378-3600 1-888-872-2531<br />

Pharmacy questions 1-888-293-3748<br />

State and Public School members 378-2364 1-800-482-8416<br />

Federal Employee members 378-2531 1-800-482-6655<br />

Looking for health or dental insurance? We can help!<br />

For individuals, families<br />

and those age 65 or older 378-2937 1-800-392-2583<br />

For employer groups 378-3070 1-800-421-1112<br />

(Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross Group Services, which includes<br />

Health Advantage and <strong>Blue</strong>Advantage Administrators<br />

of Arkansas)<br />

Prefer to speak with someone close to home? Regional Office<br />

telephone numbers:<br />

Pine Bluff/Southeast Region 1-800-236-0369<br />

1800 West 73rd St.<br />

Jonesboro/Northeast Region 1-800-299-4124<br />

707 East Matthews Ave.<br />

Hot <strong>Spring</strong>s/South Central Region 1-800-588-5733<br />

100 Greenwood Ave., Suite C<br />

Texarkana/Southwest Region 1-800-470-9621<br />

1710 Arkansas Boulevard<br />

Fayetteville/Northwest Region 1-800-817-7726<br />

516 East Milsap Rd., Suite 103<br />

Fort Smith/West Central Region 1-866-254-9117<br />

3501 Old Greenwood Rd., Suite 5<br />

Little Rock/Central Region 1-800-421-1112<br />

320 West Capitol Ave., Suite 900<br />

Web sites:<br />

arkansasbluecross.com<br />

healthadvantage-hmo.com<br />

blueadvantagearkansas.com<br />

blueandyoufoundationarkansas.org<br />

blueannewe-ark.com<br />

23<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

24<br />

At Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross<br />

and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield, we are<br />

always looking for new<br />

ways to be "Good for <strong>You</strong>."<br />

Here are some of our<br />

latest accomplishments.<br />

Our news is good news<br />

Visit “Newsroom” on arkansasabluecross.com for all<br />

the latest news from Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong> Cross and <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Shield. Plus, find company information, photos and<br />

bios of our executives, key statistics and information<br />

about how we are good for you!<br />

Looking for insurance?<br />

Visit our Web sites under “Looking for Insurance?” and<br />

find insurance to meet the needs of you and your family.<br />

We have Medicare plans if you are aging into those<br />

plans, individual plans if your company no longer offers<br />

health insurance, and employer health plans and dental<br />

plans. Call us at 1-800-421-1112 to help you find a plan<br />

that fits your needs and budget.<br />

We're in your neighborhood!<br />

Help is right around the corner when you need it. Visit<br />

one of our local regional offices when you need help<br />

right away. (A complete list of addresses and telephone<br />

numbers is on the inside back cover.) We’re here<br />

for you!<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> Break plans?<br />

As a member of an Arkansas <strong>Blue</strong><br />

Cross and <strong>Blue</strong> Shield health plan,<br />

your ID card is your link to coverage<br />

and doctors and hospitals throughout<br />

the United States when you are traveling. If you<br />

are traveling out of state and need medical care, call<br />

1-800-810-BLUE (2583) to find the name of the nearest<br />

participating hospital. (If it is an emergency, go directly<br />

to the nearest hospital’s emergency room.)<br />

OR, before you travel you can go online to our Web<br />

sites to access the <strong>Blue</strong>Card Doctor and Hospital Finder<br />

through the Provider Directory.<br />

<strong>Blue</strong> & <strong>You</strong> <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2009</strong>

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