Wellness BasicsRegular exercise and a healthy diet should be a part of everyone's life. The U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health urges all Americans to get regular exercise. It recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.Starting a Fitness ProgramOnce you've decided to become more active, the next move is creating an exercise program that will work for you. This process can be broken down into five simple steps.Following a balanced dietThe USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans describe a healthy diet as one that:• Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products;• Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and• Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Coverage change for influenza nasal spray
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) determined that the FluMist vaccine should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season. ACIP’s recommendation is based on clinical data showing poor or relatively lower effectiveness of the nasal vaccine from 2013 through 2016.Due to concerns about its effectiveness, the “FluMist” vaccine, also known as the “nasal spray” will no longer be covered by the Health Plan as of August 30, 2016.
Health and Human Services has updated their ACA preventive list to specifically cover Flu Shots only:
What’s Recommended:ACIP continues to recommend an annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older, with either the inactivated (IIV) or recombinant (RIV) influenza vaccine. The CDC is working with vaccine manufacturers throughout the summer to ensure there is enough vaccine supply to meet the increased demand.The American Academy of Family Physicians notified physicians throughout the physician community about the recommendation from the CDC.
Preventative MedicationsPrescription drugs that can help keep you from developing a health condition are called preventive prescription drugs. They can help you maintain your quality of life and avoid expensive treatment, helping to reduce your overall health care costs. If you are prescribed a preventive prescription drug, you will only pay a percentage of the total cost – right from the beginning. Click here for a list of preventative medications.Wellness/Preventative ServicesThe wellness/preventive services payable by the District's medical plans for children and adults (with no cost-sharing in-network) are designed to comply with Health Reform regulations. Payable services include immunizations, mammogram, pap smear, colonoscopy:• Additionally, the Plan will provide coverage for an annual wellness/physical exam for adults, and annual prostatic specific antigen (PSA) test for men age 50 and older with no cost-sharing in-network.• The Plan pays for childhood and adult immunizations that are FDA approved and in accordance with the CDC recommendations for children and adults in the US.• Screening mammogram frequency according to the American Cancer Society: baseline mammogram between age 35-39, then one per year from age 40 and older.• Annual routine gynecological exam with pap smear lab test. This exam is in addition to an annual wellness physical exam.• Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy to screen for cancer: one test per plan year per person age 50 or older.More details can be found at these websites:
Aetna Life Essentials
Employees who are enrolled in a District life insurance plan have access to Aetna Life Essentials services such as:
- Financial and Legal Services
- Grief counseling (and other end-of-life support services)
- Wellness products
- Discounts on products and services including gym memberships, weigh management programs and books
Learn more at www.aetna.com/aetnalifeessentials/
Click here for instructions on finding an Aetna provider online.
Mental HealthMental health is an important part of overall well-being. The District's medical plan covers Outpatient treatment of mental/nervous disorder and/or substance abuse. On the PPO plans, coverage include up to 40 visits per person per plan year and Inpatient confinement for treatment of mental/nervous disorder and/or substance abuse for up to 30 days per person per plan year. The HDHP plan mental health benefit is applied to the deducible and then covered at 80%.Smoking/Tobacco CessationBoth over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription strength smoking/tobacco cessation products are covered when prescribed by a provider. Tobacco cessation drugs are payable up to two 12-week courses of treatment per year. Plan participants are encouraged to enroll in a smoking cessation behavioral modification program.Dental HealthDid you know that dental health might affect or contribute to diseases and conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer's and osteoporosis? In addition to brushing and flossing daily, regular checkups are important. Preventive services are covered, including routine oral exams (two per plan year), Propylaxis “Cleaning of the teeth” (two per plan year), bitewing x-rays (once every 132 months) and full mouth x-rays (once in a period of 36 consecutive months).