Aetna Wellness Webinars
If you’d like to learn more about healthy living, you can sign up for one of Aetna’s Wellness Webinars. The 30-minute webinars will be offered monthly on a variety of topics. Coming up next…
Is Gluten Free for You?
Friday, January 31, 2020
2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST
This Wellness Webinar will discuss whether a gluten free diet may or may not be right for you. You will learn about:
• Reasons to avoid gluten
• How it works: Off limit foods
• The role of exercise
• Health benefits and concerns
• When to call your doctor
To Register: Send an email to the CARE team with your name and date of birth, and state that you want to attend the Is Gluten Free for You webinar. After registering, you will be emailed an invitation by Wednesday, January 29th with the webinar details to access the webinar online through WebEx. Reservations will not be taken past Wednesday, January 29th, as space is limited. If you have any questions, please email the CARE team.
How Can I Avoid the Flu This Season?
As we spend more time indoors during the winter months, viruses such as influenza can spread like wildfire. Most people experience the flu as a week or two of aches, fever, and congestion. Only time—not antibiotics—will help you recover, since the flu is a virus. Those with weakened immune systems such as the elderly, young children, or those with chronic health conditions can suffer life-threatening complications from the flu.
Do you know these flu facts?
- You can spread the flu even before you feel sick
- To protect yourself and others, wash your hands frequently during cold and flu season
- You can’t catch the flu from a flu shot because the shot uses a dead version of the virus
- You may experience mild side effects from the flu shot, such as a sore arm or fatigue
- Your body needs about two weeks to develop antibodies to the flu virus
- You should get a flu shot each year to protect against the specific viruses circulating that year
- If you get a flu shot, you can help protect your loved ones who cannot get a shot and those with weaker immune systems
Where can I get a flu shot?
- At your doctor’s office: Call to make a flu shot appointment.
- At an in-network pharmacy: Stop in or call to make an appointment.
Considerations for those over age 65
Ask about a high-potency flu shot for better protection. You should also ask your doctor about the shingles and pneumonia vaccines.
Strengthen your back: 12 easy exercises for lower back pain
How can you strengthen your back to avoid pain? Follow these daily exercises.
Lower back pain is a common cause for visits to the doctor. Actually called ‘low back pain’, it is the most common cause of job-related disability. This article will help you understand what low back pain is, what causes it and what you can do to help strengthen your back — including exercises.
What are the symptoms of low back pain?
- Dull aches or pains in the low back (lumbar spine)
- Stinging, burning pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle spasms and tightness
- Pain that gets worse after prolonged periods of sitting or standing
- Difficulty or pain going from standing to sitting
- These can often manifest or travel to the pelvis and hips as well.
Read an article on what causes low back pain here.
What can you do to strengthen your back?
By strengthening your back, you can reduce the symptoms and suffering of low back pain. There are various ways to do it, for example:
- Strengthen your core muscles (which include your pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis and internal and external obliques)
- Stay active! Aerobic exercise and limited bed rest for back pain are important
- Lift weights. This doesn’t necessarily need to be hours of dead weights in the gym, a few specific exercises with small weights at home can help strengthen your back over time
- Maintain good posture
- Improve your flexibility
- Avoid back braces, as these don’t help to strengthen your back and can actually weaken it as you start to rely on it.
Pilates, yoga, meditation and other relaxation techniques can also help to reduce pain and strengthen your core. Yoga helps increase muscle strength in specific muscle groups and also increases blood flow.
Know Your Cost Before You Go with the Aetna Member Payment Estimator
Did you know that the costs for diagnostic tests can vary by thousands of dollars for the exact same test, depending where you go? Unlike any other purchase, you won’t know the final cost until you receive your bill weeks later—unless you use the Aetna Member Payment Estimator.
How does it work?
Ouch! You hurt your knee while hiking. How much will it cost to find out what’s wrong?
Unless you have a medical emergency, you should visit your primary care physician to help you decide if you simply need rest and ice, or more serious treatment. If your doctor suspects a serious injury, he or she will likely refer you to a specialist. If you visit in-network providers, you will be responsible for the full cost of the in-network charges unless you’ve already met your annual deductible.
Next, the specialist wants you to get an MRI to diagnose your problem, and refers you to the imaging department of your local hospital. How much would it cost to get your MRI at the hospital versus another location? Let’s find out.
- Go to www.aetna.com and log in with your username and password OR open the Aetna mobile app on your smart phone
- Click on See Coverage & Costs and then Estimate Costs
- Type “MRI” in the search box or select it under Diagnostic Tests & Procedures (Your search is based on your address. Edit your location if you’d like to search elsewhere)
- Select “MRI of the Lower Extremity Joint without Contrast (Dye)” (Don’t worry, you aren’t committing to anything by checking on prices)
- Click “Get the Estimates” (You can also type in a specific facility name)
- Click the “View Details” box next to a facility to see how much you will pay, based on whether you’ve met your deductible and/or coinsurance, and how much The Navigators will pay
Want to learn more?
Check out this video on the Member Payment Estimator.
Aetna RX Home Delivery is Now CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy
Due to the merger of Aetna and
CVS, the Home Delivery service will now utilize the CVS Caremark Mail Service
Pharmacy. There will be no changes from the Aetna Rx Home Delivery other than
rebranding with the CVS Caremark name and logo.
What will stay the same:
- The Member Services number on your
Aetna ID card will not change.
- The prescription number,
available refills, and credit card(s) associated with your account will remain
on file. If you wish to remove the credit card(s) on file at this time, simply
call the number listed on your Aetna ID card by April 26, 2019.
Some changes you may notice:
- The logo on the prescription
bottle label will now be CVS Caremark.
- All future member notices and
billing statements will come from CVS Caremark.
There will be no changes to the way you refill your medicine.
UPDATE ON COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING
As you may have heard, the American Cancer Society recently updated its recommendation to begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45, five years earlier than the previous recommended age of 50. Effective March 1, 2019, The Navigators Health Plan will cover preventive colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45 for average risk* members.
What does this mean for you?
If you are age 45 or above, talk to your primary care physician about your colorectal cancer risk and appropriate screening. Remember to visit at in-network provider to reduce the cost to you and The Navigators. You can look up in-network providers and screening facilities online at aetna.com under “Find Care.”
For more information about colorectal cancer screening, visit the American Cancer Society’s website at https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer.html.
* For screening, people are considered to be at average risk if they do not have:
- A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
- A family history of colorectal cancer
- A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or
- A confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as
familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (hereditary
non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC)
- A personal history of getting radiation to the abdomen (belly) or
pelvic area to treat a prior cancer.
If any of the above conditions apply to you,
please see the American Cancer Society link above for more information and talk
to your primary care physician about your options.
Expecting a Baby?
The Aetna Maternity Program is provided free to you through The Navigators Health Plan. You can learn about:
- Early labor symptoms
- What to expect before and after delivery
- Newborn care and more.
Extra help for at-risk pregnancies
If you have a health condition or other risk that could affect your pregnancy, the Aetna Maternity Program provides extra help. Nurse case managers will work with you to help manage risks such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. If you’re at risk for early labor, you’ll have extra support to understand the symptoms and what treatment options are available. If you need help after delivery, you can receive follow-up calls, depression screening, or support for lactation and breastfeeding.
Sign up to get started
You can sign up by calling 1-800-CRADLE-1 (1-800-272-3531), weekdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Or log in to your member website at aetna.com, and look under “Stay Healthy.”
FAQ: Your 2018 Tax Documents (W2 and 1095-C)
Please view the “2018 Tax FAQs” PDF for more information on your 2018 tax documents, such as your W2 and 1095-C, from The Navigators. This FAQ sheet provides instructions on how to access a duplicate copy of your tax documents from Workday or Ceridian, and it also addresses medical expenses, HSA contributions, moving out of state, ministers and SECA, withholdings, and more.
Taking a Prescription? Remember to Check the Formulary!
Prescription drug coverage is an important—but often forgotten—part of our health insurance. Yet, prescription prices are increasing even faster than the cost of health care. You can manage the cost you pay for prescriptions by checking your medicines against the formulary. A formulary is a list of prescriptions drugs that are covered by the plan. Formularies change over time as new drugs are introduced, the effectiveness of certain drugs are called into question, or new generics become available.
Some rules of thumb to save you and The Navigators money on prescriptions:
- Take a generic whenever one is available
- Check the formulary and review your medicines, as well as ones taken by your family members
- Use in-network pharmacies
You can access the updated Aetna formulary here: https://www.aetna.com/individuals-families/find-a-medication/2018-aetna-standard-plans.htm
Remember to check if your doctor is In-Network
The Navigators Health Plan uses Aetna’s POSII network to achieve a discount on health care. Staying in-network reduces the amount you pay as well as the overall costs to our plan, thus keeping our premiums lower as well.
Before you visit a doctor or facility, remember to check if the provider is in-network. When you’re in the US, you can do this online at www.aetna.com under Find Care after you log-in. You can also ask the provider when you make your appointment. Have your ID card handy when you call.
If you are overseas and need care beyond a simple office visit, scheduling direct settlement ahead of time will reduce your up-front cost and eliminate needing to file a claim. To do this, go to www.aetnainternational.com and log in. Select I’m looking for a healthcare provider and enter the country and city closest to you. Click the Apply for direct settlement button. You can then schedule your appointment with the provider as usual.