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Ageless - AUTUMN 2023

A publication for active seniors from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

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FEEL GOOD STAY ACTIVE WE’LL HELP<br />

<strong>AUTUMN</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

<strong>Ageless</strong><br />

Fight respiratory<br />

illness this fall<br />

pg. 2<br />

Find your Fit with<br />

at-home workouts<br />

pg. 3<br />

Blue Cross blue<br />

and Razorback red<br />

pg. 4


Fight respiratory<br />

illness this fall<br />

When summer heat gives way to cooler fall<br />

temps, medical professionals quickly remind<br />

us that respiratory illnesses arrive with the<br />

change in seasons, including the flu, COVID-19<br />

and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).<br />

In the last few years, the flu has taken a back<br />

seat to the COVID pandemic, but both illnesses<br />

can be severe and lead to hospitalization and,<br />

in worst-case scenarios, death. Forecasters<br />

are predicting an early start to the flu season<br />

this year, and COVID cases saw an uptick from<br />

people staying inside during the hot summer.<br />

Adding to the fall flu and COVID concerns are<br />

worries over RSV, an illness that threatens<br />

young children and older adults. It is possible<br />

that cases of all three respiratory diseases –<br />

flu, COVID and RSV – could increase sharply<br />

this fall. It sets the stage for what some are<br />

calling a tripledemic. One outbreak is bad<br />

enough, but if all three respiratory illnesses<br />

catch fire at once … it’s not good news.<br />

The preventive measures taken in the past<br />

still apply. Wash your hands frequently with<br />

soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds,<br />

especially after sneezing, coughing or using<br />

the bathroom and before eating. Avoid close<br />

contact with those who are sick. Stay home<br />

from work if you are sick.<br />

The way to fight back and keep the respiratory<br />

genie in the bottle is to get your shots and get<br />

them early. If you get your immunizations in<br />

September or October, you will have built up<br />

your immunity if respiratory illnesses start to<br />

appear in late October through November.<br />

The bottom line is that getting vaccinations<br />

means a better fall for everyone.<br />

Source: Johns Hopkins<br />

2<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>AUTUMN</strong> <strong>2023</strong>


Gain strength and confidence<br />

with at-home workout videos!<br />

Stop! Before you pick up that remote and settle into your couch,<br />

how about a quick bit of guided exercise?<br />

Kickstart a healthy lifestyle and boost your immune system with a regular workout. Arkansas Blue Medicare has<br />

teamed up with SilverSneakers ® to move you off the couch and get active from the comfort of your own home.<br />

SilverSneakers is a fitness benefit included in your health plan. The best part? It comes at no additional cost to you.<br />

Find your fit<br />

This new series of SilverSneakers videos can help<br />

improve your strength and balance, reduce stress,<br />

and manage pain — all in an effort to help you live<br />

your best life. You can choose between Balance,<br />

Beginning Exercise, Emotional Health, or Pain<br />

Management.<br />

Once you choose a series, we’ll send you a new<br />

video once a week for four weeks. At the end of each<br />

series, you’ll be invited to complete another series.<br />

While you wait for each week’s video, you can keep<br />

moving with SilverSneakers LIVE online classes.<br />

Home Gym<br />

Included in your SilverSneakers membership is<br />

SilverSneakers LIVE, online classes taught by<br />

trained SilverSneakers instructors. Classes are<br />

developed for all skill levels and range from yoga<br />

to conditioning, strength, and more. With more<br />

than 100 classes to choose from, 7 days a week,<br />

morning, afternoon, and evening, you’re sure to<br />

find classes that fit your needs and schedule.<br />

You also get access to SilverSneakers On-<br />

Demand, which gives you access to 200+ online<br />

workout videos. Or check out the mobile app,<br />

SilverSneakers GO.<br />

SilverSneakers.com/GetStarted<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>AUTUMN</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

3


Blue Cross<br />

BLUE<br />

and<br />

Razorback<br />

RED<br />

When members tell me<br />

how much they appreciate<br />

my call, I tell them how<br />

much we appreciate<br />

them taking our calls.<br />

– Marty Ault,<br />

Arkansas Blue Cross<br />

licensed practical nurse (LPN)<br />

4


A<br />

bout 60 times a day, Marty Ault picks up<br />

the phone and speaks with a stranger.<br />

While he understands that person might not<br />

want to talk, as an Arkansas Blue Medicare<br />

nurse, Marty also knows he can help them<br />

live a healthier life.<br />

How does Marty overcome this resistance?<br />

“I try to put myself in their shoes,” says<br />

Marty. “I feel the same way they do about<br />

getting calls all the time talking to me about<br />

the same things.”<br />

With a bit of practiced patience and a calm<br />

manner, Marty can get most of the people he<br />

calls to hang on and listen to the important<br />

information he has for them.<br />

Marty has worked for Arkansas Blue<br />

Cross as a licensed practical nurse<br />

(LPN) for almost nine years. His title is<br />

Government Programs Clinical Quality &<br />

HEDIS Specialist; it’s a mouthful, but means<br />

he connects with members about issues<br />

concerning their health and insurance<br />

coverage. One of the main calls Marty<br />

makes is to remind members if they have<br />

a prescription that is overdue for a refill..<br />

“I also call members about some of our<br />

benefits that come with their Arkansas<br />

Blue Medicare plan and share opportunities<br />

within the Healthy Blue Rewards Program.”<br />

Early exposure to work in a hospital led to<br />

Marty’s nursing degree. The knowledge that<br />

Marty has is essential when digging into the<br />

details of medicine or just lending an ear to<br />

someone worried about their health.<br />

“I let them know that we understand their<br />

concern about giving out information over<br />

the phone to someone you don’t know,” says<br />

Marty. “It is important to understand how to<br />

communicate with them.”<br />

Many of the members who take Marty’s<br />

calls appreciate the information he gives them<br />

and his reminders to renew a prescription.<br />

Marty Ault<br />

If an Arkansas Blue Cross member wants to<br />

engage Marty in an extended conversation,<br />

there is one sure-fire subject to get him<br />

going – the Arkansas Razorbacks.<br />

“I started the Petit Jean Razorback Club in<br />

Morrilton when my wife and I moved here in<br />

1997,” says Marty. “It is now one of the top<br />

Razorback Clubs in the state as far as the<br />

money we raise to donate to them yearly.”<br />

Marty declares his love equally for<br />

Razorback football, basketball and baseball.<br />

His favorite Razorback? Basketball great<br />

Sidney Moncrief.<br />

“I have many memories of great games from<br />

each sport,” says Marty.<br />

If you happen to get a call from Marty Ault<br />

from Blue Cross, be sure to stay on the line<br />

to learn more about your Arkansas Blue<br />

Medicare coverage and benefits. And throw<br />

in a little ‘Woo Pig Sooie!’ for fun.<br />

“When members tell me how much they<br />

appreciate my call, I tell them how much<br />

we appreciate them taking our calls,” says<br />

Marty. “You just always have to be prepared<br />

for any response good or bad and keep your<br />

composure at all costs.”<br />

5


Keep your<br />

eyes as a prize<br />

If you see clearly, a regular eye exam might<br />

be one of those things you delay. But eye<br />

diseases, like glaucoma, often don’t have<br />

early symptoms. As you get older, the<br />

chances of developing glaucoma increase.<br />

Regular eye exams can detect it early, when<br />

treatment is more effective.<br />

Here are some ways to protect your eyes:<br />

Check off an<br />

eye check<br />

A preventive eye<br />

exam tests your depth<br />

perception, eye alignment<br />

and eye movement, and<br />

screens for potential eye<br />

diseases in their early<br />

stages, saving years of<br />

pain and vision loss.<br />

Adults should have<br />

a preventive eye<br />

exam once a year.<br />

Feed your eyes<br />

A healthy diet for your<br />

eyes includes lots of<br />

vegetables such as<br />

spinach, kale, collard<br />

greens, and carrots. Fish<br />

high in omega-3 fatty<br />

acids, such as salmon<br />

and tuna, are also good<br />

for eye health.<br />

Stop smoking<br />

Smoking increases the<br />

risk of eye diseases like<br />

macular degeneration<br />

and cataracts.<br />

Get shady<br />

Wear sunglasses that<br />

block 99-100% of sun<br />

rays with UV-A and UV-B<br />

radiation, which can<br />

damage your vision.<br />

Know your<br />

history<br />

If you are a diabetic,<br />

be sure to get an<br />

annual diabetic eye<br />

exam to prevent vision<br />

loss in the future.<br />

Eye diseases can be<br />

hereditary. If a blood<br />

relative has an eye<br />

disease, be sure<br />

to get regular exams.<br />

Easier ways to pay your Arkansas Blue Medicare bill<br />

We are happy to announce a new online billing system, providing a more<br />

convenient and efficient way to manage your payments. Now you can easily<br />

pay your bills online, and manage your account information with a few clicks.<br />

You can also safely store your payment information for future transactions.<br />

To start using our new billing system, log into your account on our website<br />

arkbluemedicare.com/payonline and either make a payment with your<br />

credit/debit card or pay by bank draft. You can also set up automatic payments<br />

through the Blueprint Portal to ensure your bills are always paid on time.<br />

Thank you for choosing Arkansas Blue Medicare!<br />

6<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>AUTUMN</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

Scan this code<br />

with your smart phone<br />

to pay online.


Tools to help<br />

in an emergency<br />

Are you prepared in case of an emergency and you are unable to do things on<br />

your own? What will you do if you are incapacitated, and yet important medical<br />

decisions need to be made? Or important medical bills need to be paid?<br />

Here are two tools you can use:<br />

• POA – Power of Attorney – helps facilitate medical or insurance tasks<br />

and decisions in case of incapacitation.<br />

• AOR – Appointment of Representation – Appoints an individual to act<br />

as a representative of the member to make any request or obtain information<br />

related to claims decisions, grievance decisions, and appeal decisions.<br />

Scan this code<br />

with your smart<br />

phone to access<br />

the documents.<br />

How do I activate a POA?<br />

POA Documents are usually<br />

filed by an attorney with the<br />

local court system and signed<br />

by a judge, giving the effective<br />

date of the POA appointment.<br />

How do I establish an AOR<br />

with Arkansas Blue Medicare?<br />

Download and fill out form<br />

CMS-1696 APPOINTMENT<br />

OF REPRESENTATIVE<br />

(arkansasbluecross.com)<br />

At any time during the year, you can choose not to receive certain types of marketing communications<br />

from Arkansas Blue Medicare, like information about available Medicare products and services we<br />

provide. If you decide not to receive this information, call us toll-free at the number on the back of<br />

your member ID card and tell us, “I’d like to opt out of receiving Arkansas Blue Medicare marketing<br />

communications.” Our office hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central, Monday through Friday (April 1 through<br />

September 30) and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central, seven days a week (October 1 through March 31).<br />

If at any time in the future you change your mind and would like to start receiving these communications,<br />

give us a call, and we’ll update our system.<br />

Please be advised that we will continue to send communications about your current Arkansas Blue<br />

Medicare health plan as we’re required to by the federal government (for example, a benefit change<br />

letter or notice of a provider termination from our network).<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong> <strong>AUTUMN</strong> <strong>2023</strong><br />

7


Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield<br />

P.O. Box 2181<br />

Little Rock, AR 72203-2181<br />

Please note: This newsletter is for health education purposes only. We do not offer medical advice or<br />

services. Always consult your treating physician(s) for any medical advice or services you may need.<br />

<strong>Ageless</strong><br />

Y0083_23ABM_<strong>AUTUMN</strong>AGELESS_MAG_C<br />

00005.06.01-0423 HEALTH AND WELLNESS OR PREVENTION INFORMATION<br />

A publication for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield<br />

Medicare Advantage members.<br />

Arkansas Blue Medicare is an affiliate of Arkansas Blue<br />

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

Shield is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross<br />

and Blue Shield Association. © <strong>2023</strong> Arkansas Blue<br />

Cross and Blue Shield. All rights reserved.<br />

Blue is your plan!<br />

We’re here to help when you need us.<br />

Nurse care (Nurse24)........................................................800-318-2384<br />

Fitness (SilverSneakers)...................................................888-423-4632<br />

Hearing aids (TruHearing).................................................844-822-1845<br />

Surgery (Welvie)...............................................................866-433-1343<br />

Document medical wishes (Welvie)................................877-434-6168<br />

Dental (LSV)......................................................................888-223-4999

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