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National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is set for April 18-25, 2015.  This week, NIIW will provide parents information on the benefits of immunizations and how to improve the health of children two years old or younger.  Immunizations are one of the most effective ways that parents can protect their children from infectious diseases, such as measles and whooping cough.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), immunizations, can now protect infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two. The CDC recommends the following immunizations for infants 0-23 months:

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At Western Health Advantage, keeping you and your family healthy is our top priority. Preventive care services such as well baby care and immunizations are part of your medical plan, at no additional cost to you! Visit our online infant wellness section for more information.

Disclaimer: Coverage for WHA services depends on eligibility at the time of the service

Sources: CDC

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Did you know today, March 24, is American Diabetes Association Alert Day?  In the U.S., 86 million people have pre-diabetes, putting them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Western Health Advantage is passionate about helping members successfully manage their diabetes.  Before people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, they nearly always develop pre-diabetes, in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Pre-diabetes should be taken seriously as it can begin causing damage to the body.

But it isn’t all bad news! The good news is you can take steps to prevent and manage diabetes. Here are three helpful steps to get you on the right track:

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Your body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat calculated using your height and weight, should be in the healthy range. Visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to calculate your BMI.
  2. Eat wisely. Choose pastas, breads, cereals and crackers that show “whole” or “whole grain” as the first ingredient. Eat more fruit and vegetables, aiming to eat dark yellow and green veggies like broccoli, spinach and squash every day. Cut back on foods containing saturated fats like butter, whole milk, high-fat ice cream and cottage cheese. Visit MyFoodAdvisor for recipes and tips from the American Diabetes Association.
  3. Exercise regularly. Physical activity helps you lose weight and control your cholesterol and blood pressure. It also helps your body use insulin. Try to be physically active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly with a gentle exercise like walking.

Have a minute?   Learn your risk for type 2 diabetes and take the Diabetes Risk Test now at http://diabetes.org/takethetest.

Take it. Share it. Step Out.

For more information, please visit mywha.org/diabetes

 

Sources:

American Diabetes Association

Measuring Spoons Filled With Table Salt

American Heart Association is urging us all to ditch the salt.

The average American consumes more than twice as much sodium than the American Heart Association recommends, and nearly 80 percent of it is coming from pre-packaged and restaurant foods. Your relationship with salt is putting you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

AHA’s goal is to secure 350,000 online pledges and build a movement to change America’s relationship with salt. They will use these pledges to urge the FDA and food manufacturers to reduce sodium in the food supply.

Tell Sneaky Salt you’re on to his game. Take the pledge today!

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iStock_000006179543MediumWhy immunizing your teen is important.

It’s March and pediatricians are already seeing an increase in the number of infectious diseases, such as measles, whooping cough and the flu. Preteens, teens and young adults need a booster shot for certain childhood vaccines because their vaccine protection wears off. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following immunizations for children ages 13 to 17 years old.

  • Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Meningococcal (MCV4)

We encourage you not to wait until your child is sick to take them to the doctor, but to build a partnership with your child’s doctor through regular annual well visits. This visit will provide you and your child’s doctor the opportunity to discuss important health topics and ensure your child is getting his or her recommended health screenings and immunizations.

With the help of regular well care visits, your child’s doctor can often detect and address health problems before they become more serious.*

For a complete list of immunizations for your teen visit mywha.org/guidelines.

Disclaimer: Coverage for WHA services depends on your eligibility at the time of service.

Source:  CDC

Walk A Mile

Walk A Mile

 

 

 

 

Make history with WEAVE at Walk a Mile in Her Shoes!

On Sunday, May 3rd, Capitol Mall will be taken over by more than 600 men– business leaders, elected officials, husbands, neighbors – who will walk, run, and limp the one-mile course while wearing high heels to support WEAVE.

This year’s event is hoping to make a statement not just locally but to the world when 1,000 brave men come together for the 5th Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. WEAVE hopes to not only raise a quarter of million dollars to support victims, but to set a Guinness Book of World Records in the process.

Join our team and we’ll pay your $40 registration fee. Contact community@westernhealth.com to be a part of WHA’s team!

To find more event information, please visit http://weaveinc.donorpages.com/WalkaMile2015/page4/

What: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

When: Sunday, May 3, 2015

Time: 11:00 am – Elite men who are crazy enough to run take the course.

11:10 am – Less crazy men who only want to walk the course begin.

12:15 pm – Walk is completed. Prizes for top fundraising awards are announced.

1:00 pm – Program ends. Stay for the festival including games, music, cocktails and fun.

 

Where: Capitol Mall between 5th & 7th

 

Western Health Advantage supports WEAVE because we believe in their mission to bring an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in the Sacramento community.  With 1 in 4 women affected by domestic violence, it is no doubt impacting the life of someone you care about it, whether you know it or not. WHA understands that violence of all kinds is preventable, which is why we are committed to helping WEAVE keep families safe from violence and abuse.

Go Red For Women

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Heart disease is the No.1 cause of death in women and it’s time to take a stand……in RED! Go Red For Women is a nationwide event that is devoted in helping women fight back against heart disease.

Join millions of women in the fight against heart disease Feb. 6th for National Wear Red Day.  Whether on the job or walking the street, illuminate your wardrobe and support women fighting heart disease.

Take charge of your heart care! Urge your mothers, sisters, and friends to get their heart checkups. Get your cholesterol screening. Here’s a checklist you can take to your doctor’s visit.

Get healthier! Resolve, today, to make one healthy change in your life. Eat breakfast, even if it’s an apple or a high-fiber bagel you grab on your way out the door. Switch one soda a day for a glass of water. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Support the cause! Wear red today. Make a tax-deductible donation; even if it’s only $5, every little bit helps. Shop Go Red merchandise. Sign up for your free account, and receive a free Red Dress pin. Shop Macy’s until the 8th, receive a 20% discount in-store or 15% discount online, and support Macy’s $100,000 donation. Attend an event in your area.

Learn more about heart disease prevention and heart healthy tips at: https://www.goredforwomen.org/home/live-healthy/

Every minute there are 24 people who become victims of some form of domestic violence. No one should live in fear. Domestic Violence is never okay, yet is an epidemic that impacts individuals in every community regardless of age race, gender, religion, economic status or educational background.

Dmestic Violence

Behavioral health resources and assistance for Western Health Advantage members are available through Human Affairs International of California (HAI-CA), a subsidiary of Magellan Health Services. Confidential services are provided by trained clinicians and are available at any time.

How to use your WHA behavioral health benefits:

  • No referral from your Primary Care Physician (PCP) is required.
  • A WHA member can call Magellan or Optum directly.

Magellan Health Services: 800.424.1778

Optum (UC Employees): 888.440.8225

To find a mental health provider, search Magellan Health Services’ provider directory http://www.magellanassist.com. Use the new or unregistered user option and enter WHA’s toll-free number: 800.424.1778. You do not have to register to begin your search.

Things to remember when making an appointment:

  1. Ask about copayments. A copay is a charge that you are required to pay out of pocket for a specific service. For instance, you may have a $20 copay for each office visit. In the past, copays for mental health visits may have been greater than those for most medical visits. That should no longer be the case for insurance plans subject to the *parity law.
  2. Ask about your deductible. A deductible is the amount that you must pay out-of-pocket before WHA makes any payments. Depending on your deductible, for instance, you may have to pay $500 or even $5,000 out-of-pocket before WHA will begin making payments on claims. As a result of the *parity law, your deductible should apply to both mental and physical health coverage.
  3. Talk to your provider. When you call to schedule an appointment with a mental health provider, ask if he or she accepts your WHA insurance.
  4. Coordinating medical and mental health services. Given the complex relationship between the physical health and mental health, communication and coordination between medical and mental health providers is crucial to safe and quality care. Ask your mental health provider about the importance of coordinating your mental health care with your medical treatment plan.

*The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to ensure that financial requirements (such as co-pays, deductibles) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) applicable to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits are no more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical/surgical benefits.

Need help? We love to help! Don’t hesitate to call our Member Services department at 916.563.2250 or at 888.563.2250.

Source: MagellanHealth.com, mywha.org/BH

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