6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor at Your Next Visit

From ALLtech medical partner Regence BlueShield

Now is a great time to schedule an annual wellness visit or routine check-up with your personal doctor, also known as a primary care provider (PCP). Here are some questions you could ask during the visit to help prevent future illness and save money on your health care costs.

Questions about preventive care

1. What preventive services and screenings do you recommend for me? Depending on your medical history and family history, your doctor may recommend lab work to check for certain diseases or conditions. They may also recommend screening procedures — such as a colorectal cancer screening, bone mineral density test, mammogram, or Pap smear test. If your doctor recommends tests and screenings, you might want to ask how the tests will be administered, if you need to do anything to prepare, and how you’ll be informed of the results.

  • For ALLtech members enrolled in medical coverage through Regence, most preventive services and screenings are covered with no copay and no deductible. However, some diagnostic tests, labs and procedures may have a cost share responsibility. Check your benefits at regence.com or call the number on your member ID card for more details and to confirm your coverage.

2. What vaccinations should I get? Some vaccinations, such as for flu, are recommended annually. There are also some newer vaccines you may not have gotten yet, such as vaccines for COVID-19, RSV, pneumonia, and shingles. Your personal doctor can recommend the vaccines that are right for you.

  • Vaccines are covered by ALLtech plans at no cost, but deductibles, copays and coinsurance may apply. To check your coverage, sign in to your account at regence.com or call the number on your member ID card.

3. How much and what kinds of physical activity do I need to stay healthy and avoid falls and injuries? Your doctor can suggest strengthening exercises and other ways you can be physically active, tailored to your specific needs and health conditions.

  • ALLtech members have access to discounts on fitness-related products and services like fitness devices and gym memberships through Regence Advantages.

4. What can I do to improve my mental health? Your doctor can do a screening with you to check for mental health risks like depression and anxiety. They can suggest activities that can help, as well as prescribe medications and refer you to a mental health counselor as needed.

  • Through ALLtech, members have access to virtual mental health treatment options through MDLIVE at $0 co-pay on most plans. No referral is needed — you can visit the provider website and fill out the intake form for an appointment.

Questions related to prescription drugs

5. Should any changes be made to my prescriptions? Review the list of prescription drugs you’re taking with your doctor, as well as dosages, supplements, and any over-the-counter drugs you take regularly. Your body can change over time, so the drugs you’re taking may need to change as well. You may be able to stop taking a drug or change to a different dose, or you may need to start taking a new drug.

6. Is there anything I can do to save money on my prescription drugs? Your doctor may be able to help you save, such as changing your prescription to a generic or other less expensive alternative drug. You can compare drug prices at various pharmacies and shop around for the best deals using the price comparison tool when you sign in at regence.com.

A word of caution about your coverage

Most ALLtech plans cover an Annual Wellness Visit or annual check-up at no cost to you. However, you may have to pay additional coinsurance or cost shares if your doctor ends up performing any diagnostic tests or procedures during your visit.

Questions?

If you have any questions about your plan’s coverage or need help finding care, sign in to your account at regence.com and use the Chat feature, or call the number on your member ID card.

Want to learn more about enrolling in ALLtech? Fill out our Request a Quote form or email alltech@advprofessionals.com.

It’s Time to Submit Your Nominations for the 2024 GeekWire Awards!

The GeekWire Awards, taking place May 9 at the Showbox Sodo in Seattle, is now accepting nominations for amazing entrepreneurs, innovators, deal makers and nonprofit leaders across more than a dozen categories.

Nominations are open from January 29 to February 29, then you’ll get another chance to make your voice count when community voting opens from March 13 to April 12.

Keep these details in mind when filling out the GeekWire Awards nomination form:

  • The GeekWire Awards recognizes companies, organizations and individuals based in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington and British Columbia).
  • Past winners are not eligible in the same category.
  • One nomination is as good as 20, so no need to flood the ballot box.
  • Thoughtful and well-written nominations receive stronger consideration.
Then hopefully we’ll see you at the GeekWire Awards to celebrate the winners!

ALLtech Helps Members Stay Healthy with Virtual Care at $0 Co-Pay

When you’re enrolled in ALLtech, accessing health care is easy whether you’re in the office, at home or on the go with virtual care at $0 co-pay on most plans.

Through MDLIVE, members enrolled in medical through Regence BlueShield or Asuris Northwest Health have 24/7 access to a broad range of services that include:

Primary Care

Consult with a board-certified doctor who will diagnose and treat non-emergency medical conditions, prescribe medications and send prescriptions to your pharmacy. Some common ailments that can be treated include cold/flu, allergies and headaches. For a detailed list, view our Welcome to MDLIVE flyer.

Behavioral Health Care

Through ALLtech, members can talk to a licensed counselor or psychiatrist from their home, office or on the go, to treat issues such as stress, depression, eating disorders, grief and loss, and more. The confidential, convenient online therapy is available 24/7 via the MDLIVE app. To learn more, download the MDLIVE Behavioral Health flyer.

Dermatology

ALLtech members have 24/7 access to a network of leading, board-certified dermatologists who can diagnose and treat more than 3,000 skin, hair and nail conditions online. A visit takes less than 10 minutes to complete, compared to waiting days, weeks or even months to visit with a dermatologist in-person. See our post Virtual Dermatology Visits Now Available Through ALLtech to learn more, or visit the MDLIVE Dermatology page.

Substance Use Disorder

MDLIVE partners with Boulder Care to offer a unique virtual care model that provides access 24/7 to substance use disorder treatment. Learn more in our article ALLtech Addresses Substance Use Disorder with Unique Virtual Care Model or visit Boulder.Care/Regence.

Learn More

To login or learn more, go to MDLIVE.com/Regence-WA or MDLIVE.com/Asuris

8 Ways to Improve Your Health in the New Year

From ALLtech medical partner Regence BlueShield

If your New Year’s resolutions include a goal to improve your health in 2024, here are eight things you can do this year with a little help from ALLtech Benefits’ medical partner Regence:

  1. Select a primary care provider if you haven’t yet. Having a doctor established now makes it easy to get care when you need it. It can take a while to get in for an initial appointment, so schedule it right away. If you need help finding an in-network primary care provider, try Regence’s find a doctor tool or call the number on the back of your member ID card.
  2. Get an annual wellness visit with your primary care provider, which is covered by most ALLtech medical plans with no out-of-pocket costs. Your doctor can assess your overall health and give you guidance on how to improve. This baseline can be very helpful as you plan health, fitness and weight loss goals for the year.
  3. Take care of your mental health. Make self-care a priority. If you’re struggling and need help, ALLtech covers a variety of mental health care services and resources, such as one-on-one counseling, group therapy, medication, as well as self-guided well-being tools and virtual care options. Learn more about ALLtech’s Employee Assistance Program, Wellspring EAP, and virtual behavioral health resources available through MDLIVE.
  4. Get all your age-appropriate recommended health screenings, such as screenings for breast, cervical, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers. Most screenings are covered through ALLtech with no out-of-pocket costs if you meet criteria. Talk to your doctor about which screenings you should get this year and sign in to your account on regence.com to learn more about your coverage. It may take a few months to get in for some screenings, so get them scheduled early.
  5. Get vaccinated. Getting all your age-appropriate recommended vaccinations will help you avoid illness so you can focus on improving your health. Most vaccinations are covered through ALLtech with no out-of-pocket costs if you meet criteria. Some vaccinations, like the flu shot, are covered annually. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for help deciding which vaccinations you should get.
  6. Participate in a wellness program. The Regence Empower app is a wellness program available to ALLtech members, but you can use it even if you’re not part of an employer plan. The app can help you track your progress on things like sleep, stress, food and exercise. You can also use it to participate in health challenges and find links to podcasts and helpful health-related information. Download the Regence Empower flyer for more information.
  7. Familiarize yourself with all the care options covered by your health plan. Make sure you know when you should head to the emergency room versus an urgent care or your doctor’s office, versus the virtual care and telehealth options available with your ALLtech plan. Knowing the difference could save you time and money, and it’s better to figure it out now instead of when you’re sick.
  8. Consider nutrition counseling. Most Regence plans cover one-on-one nutrition counseling with a dietitian to help you improve your diet. The counseling can be especially helpful if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or renal kidney disease. Benefits vary by plan and can depend on applicable state or federal mandates. To learn what’s available for you, sign in to your account to chat online or call us at the number on the back of your member ID card.

Log in to your account at regence.com or call the number on the back of your insurance card to learn more about all your insurance coverage.

Preventive Care Resources for ALLtech Members

2024 is right around the corner, and with it comes a new allocation of preventive care benefits for groups enrolled in ALLtech medical coverage. As an ALLtech member, comprehensive preventive care benefits are included — such as annual wellness exams, immunizations, age-appropriate screenings, and services for pregnant members and children — with no out-of-pocket cost when received from in-network providers.

Check out the online Regence preventive care list to gain insights about the importance of preventive care and a detailed listing of all no-cost preventive care that’s included with groups’ plans.

Get more by creating an account

To learn more about your ALLtech medical plan benefits, consider creating an account on regence.com or downloading the Regence app. Creating an account unlocks valuable features that enable members to have a personalized experience with their health plan. When signed in to their account, members can access the following resources:

  • Find care: This enables members to search and schedule appointments with in-network doctors and specialists locally — and nationwide when they’re away from home.
  • Estimate costs: Members can save money by comparing costs for tests, treatments and common procedures from multiple providers. They can also get personalized real-time out-of-pocket cost estimates based on their deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
  • Telehealth: Members can access convenient, cost-effective high-quality care through MDLIVE for nonurgent needs and behavioral health.
  • Nurse advice: Members rely on Advice24 for guidance and support for everyday health concerns. It’s a convenient and quick way to get support from a registered nurse for nonemergency health issues and questions that might otherwise lead to unnecessary doctor and ER visits. Advice24 is embedded in most fully insured group plans and available as a buy-up to ASO groups.
  • Wellness: Regence Empower™ provides personalized tools and resources designed to guide each member to improved health. Program enhancements effective Jan. 1, 2024, include wellness incentive rewards for participating employees’ eligible spouses or domestic partners.
  • Medication cost savings: Members can research the efficacy and costs of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and compare brand-names vs. generics before buying.
  • Regence Advantages: This comprehensive discount program provides savings on over-the-counter health and wellness products, fertility services, hearing aids and more. Regence Advantages partner Active&Fit Direct offers access to 12,500+ fitness centers (including participating 24 Hour Fitness locations) nationwide for just $28 per month and has a $0 enrollment fee when members join by Feb. 29, 2024.

For more resources available to ALLtech members, visit the Wellness Resources page on the ALLtech Employer portal.

It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week: 5 Reasons to Get a Flu Shot

To help recognize National Influenza Vaccination Week, taking place December 4-8, 2023, ALLtech Benefits would like to remind you that there’s still time to get a flu shot to help you celebrate the holidays safely. Members enrolled in ALLtech received full coverage for the cost of most vaccinations at 100 percent when members see an in-network provider.

Why get a flu shot?

Flu shots benefit you, your family and your community 

The most important action to protect yourself against flu is getting a flu vaccine each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine to reduce your risk of getting flu and lessen its symptoms if you do get sick.

Getting vaccinated against flu can also help protect loved ones, like adults 65 years and older and people living with chronic conditions, both groups of people who are at higher risk of having serious flu complications. Bottom line? Getting an annual flu vaccine is important to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community against flu.

Flu shots benefit pregnant people and babies 

Flu can be especially serious for pregnant people because of changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy that can make them more vulnerable to flu and its potentially severe complications. The good news? Getting a flu vaccine can reduce your risk of getting flu and lessen flu symptoms if you do get sick both during and after pregnancy. A flu shot during pregnancy also can help protect your baby from flu for several months after birth, when they’re too young to be vaccinated themselves.

Flu vaccines have safely protected millions of pregnant people and their babies from flu for decades. One study showed fewer cases of infants with flu in mothers who got a flu vaccine compared to mothers who were not vaccinated. This is because, when vaccinated while pregnant, you pass antibodies on to your developing baby.

Flu shots benefit young children 

Did you know flu can be more serious for children than a cold? That’s why it’s also important to get your children vaccinated against flu this year. Children younger than 5 years old – especially those younger than 2 – and children of any age with certain chronic health conditions, like asthma and diabetes, are at a higher risk of developing potentially serious flu complications. Because these groups of children are at higher risk, it is especially important they get a flu vaccine to reduce their risk of getting sick or being hospitalized or dying from flu if they do get sick.

Flu vaccines are safe and effective – and there’s still time to get vaccinated

Every year, experts update flu vaccines as needed to best protect against the viruses expected to spread during the upcoming season. During seasons when the vaccine viruses are well-matched to the viruses that are spreading, flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness by 40 percent to 60 percent. And if someone who is vaccinated gets sick, vaccination has been shown to reduce severity of illness, reducing the risk of serious flu outcomes.

The best time to get vaccinated is before flu has begun spreading widely in your community but vaccination can still be protective later. Flu most commonly peaks in February, and significant flu activity can continue into May.

You have options on which flu vaccine to get and where to get it, including at a health care provider’s office, at work, a pharmacy, some stores, or even supermarkets. Speak with a health care provider today about getting a flu vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Learn more about the benefits of getting vaccinated against flu at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccinations.htm.

The GeekWire Gala is Back on Dec. 6

GeekWire, the sponsoring association of ALLtech, is excited to bring its GeekWire Gala holiday party back to the Showbox Market on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.

In addition to a festive party with dancing, cocktails and karaoke, the event also will recognize the region’s “Uncommon Thinkers,” groundbreaking innovators who are changing the way we work, live and play.

In terms of dress code, attendees have the rare license to don cocktail attire in Seattle — or wear whatever you want for that matter. Tuxedos? Sure. Geeky T-shirts? Yep. Even better, break out your fiercest winter fashions, competing for individual and team prizes.

The GeekWire Gala is a 21+ event taking place from 6-10 p.m. at the historic Showbox Market near Pike Place Market at 1426 First Ave.

Giving Thanks is Good for Your Health 

Practicing gratitude around the holidays is a tradition for many families, but it turns out sticking with it throughout the year can have profound impacts on your overall health.  

Improve Your Mood with Gratitude

Some days it may feel impossible to think of even one thing that you’re grateful for, but in fact, these are the times when you can use a bit of gratitude the most. Studies have shown that offering thanks for things in life that are meaningful to you can decrease depression and anxiety, and if practiced regularly can even change the way your brain is wired. 

Turning on gratitude isn’t first nature for many of us, so start small with a daily affirmation – maybe something as simple as thinking about someone you’re grateful for, then gradually building on that by expressing your gratitude to the person.  

Now it’s contagious! Think about the last time a friend or even a stranger made your day by showing their appreciation for you. In the short term, it improves the mood of both parties, and in the long run practicing these acts of kindness will help gratitude become your brain’s go-to response. 

The Joy of Journaling

Another method that has been shown to improve both mental and physical health is keeping a gratitude journal. Some people prefer a bound journal to physically write in each day, but it can be just as meaningful to keep track digitally with your smart phone or computer. What’s important is to maintain a frequency that is realistic – it should feel enjoyable and cathartic, not like a chore. 

Maybe you prefer to jot down something about people or moments that you appreciated each day, or maybe it’s better for you to aim for once a week. Regardless of what you choose, the practice will help you focus more on the many positive experiences you have every day. 

Bring Thanks to the Workplace

Want to help foster a more positive environment in the workplace, too? Bring your gratitude to the office, especially if you are a manager or work in customer service.  

And don’t just say “Thank you” to be polite without really thinking about what you’re saying. Be present, and make a conscious effort to think about precisely what it is that you are thankful for. 

Thank YOU from ALLtech Benefits!

With that, the team at ALLtech Benefits would like to thank you for reading our monthly news and health tips and for being a part of the ALLtech community! Want to learn more about what’s new with ALLtech for 2024? Download our 2024 ALLtech Fact Sheet, or contact us by calling 206.602.3558 or filling out our request a quote form. 

Apps and Mobile Games to Help with Your Dental Fear

From ALLtech dental provider Delta Dental of Washington

Fear of going to the dentist is more common than you may think. People of all ages have a fear of going to the dentist. The good news is that there are many tools available to help ease those fears before and during dental appointments.

In today’s world, smart devices like cell phones or tablets have essentially become an extension of the body for most people. Why not use these devices for our benefit? There are many mobile games available that can provide anxiety relief and calm nerves at the dentist’s office.

Here are a few mobile games that can ease anxiety:

  • Colorfy: If you find coloring or being creative relaxing, this is the app for you! There are many images to choose from and color on while waiting for your dental appointment to start.
  • AntiStress Anxiety Relief Game: If you find yourself fidgeting during appointments, this game is perfect for you! Simple games such as a digital bubble popper, fidget spinner, and brick smash can help distract your mind and ease anxiety.
  • Prune: This simple game is full of beautiful scenery, calming music, and the simple goal of growing and pruning a bonsai tree.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle: Another great option for those who need a simple distraction before and during dental appointments. Put together beautiful puzzles that vary in difficulty.

Learn about more games and solutions to conquering dental fear by reading the Delta Dental of Washington blog.

ALLtech Retains Top Fundraising Spot for Hike-a-Thon 2023!

This year’s Hike-a-Thon was all about breaking records, with a whopping $244,755.78 raised to support trails during the annual fundraiser that ALLtech was proud to sponsor and participate in.

For the third year in a row, the ALLtech team was also proud to be awarded for raising the most money for a company team! ALLtech has been supporting the annual fundraiser for the Washington Trails Association (WTA) since 2019, helping raise more than $20,000 under the leadership of ALLtech Trustee Ken Myer.

“We believe — and the science supports — that getting outdoors in nature is good for the body and the mind,” says Myer, who was recognized earlier this year in WTA Magazine for his advocacy and passion for trails.

In addition to breaking fundraising records in 2023, Hike-a-Thon also celebrated its milestone 20th anniversary during the monthlong event in August. You can read more about this year’s Hike-a-Thon in the WTA post 15,000+ miles and $244,000+ raised: a recap of our biggest Hike-a-Thon yet, which offers the following highlights:

  • Hike-a-Thoners registered: 635
  • Teams registered: 127
  • Miles hiked: 15,596 miles — that’s more miles than Mount Rainier is tall!
  • Elevation gained: 2,590,237 feet
  • Dollars raised for trails: $244,755.78 — a new Hike-a-Thon record!

Why ALLtech Supports Hike-a-Thon and Washington Trails Association

At ALLtech, we believe that connecting with nature is critical to everyone’s mental and physical health, and we know that supporting Washington Trails Association will help ensure there are trails for everyone, forever.

To learn more, please watch our below video: Trails for Everyone, Forever.