Tag Archive for: Staying Healthy

Video: Explore Behavioral Health Resources Available Though ALLtech

Virtual access to health care has always been a valued benefit for ALLtech members, perhaps now more than ever. After months of living in the shadow of a pandemic, ALLtech’s partners continue to add virtual health resources to help members access the care they need from the comfort of their home.

That includes virtual access to behavioral health care, including psychiatry and counseling therapy through MDLIVE, as well as the myStrength self-service and web-based app that offers tools and skills to cope with stress and anxiety.

Starting on January 1, 2021, access to MDLIVE will be even easier with the co-pay decreasing to $0 for most ALLtech members.

Please view the above video to learn more about the resources available to ALLtech members, and please also see our accompanying article in GeekWire: Mental health counseling available via ALLtech as scientists predict tough winter due to COVID surge

‘COVID Doesn’t Care That It’s a Holiday’

The steady rise of COVID-19 cases is leading many people to change their upcoming holiday plans, according to ALLtech medical providers Regence BlueShield.

In a recent national survey, Regence found that 58 percent of respondents don’t plan to socialize outside their household this holiday season, according to its article Holiday travel: Keep your loved ones safe this winter as COVID-19 spreads. Meanwhile, 41 percent of respondents don’t plan to travel because of COVID rates, while 24 percent say they will travel but plan to take precautions such as wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer.

“COVID doesn’t care that it’s a holiday,” Barbara Alexander, president-elect of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, says in the article. “Now is not the time to let our guard down and say it’s the holiday and let’s be merry. I think we need to maintain our vigilance here.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the safest way to celebrate the holidays is at home with the people you live with, but it also offers plenty of suggestions on how to travel and celebrate safely.

Regence adds that celebrating virtually is also a great option for families and friends who are missing one another.

As a reminder, ALLtech offers a variety of resources for members seeking mental health resources, from stress‑reducing apps to virtual counseling and more, which you can read more about in GeekWire.

GeekWire: Mental health counseling available via ALLtech as scientists predict tough winter due to COVID surge

As COVID-19 cases and accompanying hospitalizations continue to rise, ALLtech and our exclusive partners at GeekWire remain dedicated to sharing ways to help support your health – including your mental health.

Through what could be a long and lonely winter for many, GeekWire offers hopeful resources in the article “Mental health counseling available via ALLtech as scientists predict tough winter due to COVID surge.”

The article outlines the virtual counseling available to ALLtech members, including MDLIVE through Regence BlueShield/Asuris Northwest Health, and BetterHelp through Wellspring EAP; the Livongo wellness app that helps you manage stress; and additional resources for members in need of additional assistance.

Read more in the article “Mental health counseling available via ALLtech as scientists predict tough winter due to COVID surge.

Counseling via Email, Text, Phone or Video for Whole-Person Health

At ALLtech, the wellness of our members is at the heart of all we do. Our focus on prevention comes with tips and tricks to boost your immune system, suggestions to encourage healthy living by spending time outdoors, and this year more so than ever, a focus on supporting your mental health.

As our daylight hours continue to dwindle and the reality of social distancing over the holidays sets in, ALLtech is reaching out to make sure members know there’s always someone available to talk, whether it’s over the phone, video, email or even text.

MDLIVE, available at $0 co-pay through most ALLtech medical plans starting in 2021, can connect you 24/7 to a doctor, counselor, psychiatrist or dermatologist to treat a range of non-emergency medical care, including behavioral health issues.

ALLtech offers even more through its partnership with Wellspring EAP, a Seattle non-profit that is focused on improving members’ quality of life through counseling, legal and financial services, and more. This year, Wellspring has diversified its services by offering members access to behavioral health counseling via phone, video email or text through BetterHelp.

By offering both live and scheduled appointments, BetterHelp further enhances the resources already available through Wellspring, and can be accessed anytime, anywhere.

To learn more about this unique resource available to ALLtech members, download the BetterHelp flyer from Wellspring. If you’d like to learn more about enrolling in ALLtech, fill out our Request a Quote form.

Protect Yourself and Others with a Flu Shot This Year

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of flu season, health experts warn of a potential public health crisis that you may be able to help prevent by getting a flu shot this fall.

While development continues on a COVID-19 vaccine, you can help do your part to slow the spread of both viruses by getting a flu shot, social distancing, wearing a mask in crowds, washing hands and cleaning often-used surfaces, according to our partners at Regence BlueShield:

To minimize the potential strain on hospitals from both flu and COVID-19 patients, the CDC urges everyone older than 6 months to get vaccinated. “By getting that flu vaccine, you may be able to then negate the necessity to have to take up a hospital bed,” says Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC. “And then that hospital bed can be more available for those that potentially get hospitalized for COVID.”

For ALLtech members enrolled in medical through Regence BlueShield/Asuris Northwest Health, flu shots are fully covered at in-network doctors’ offices, pharmacies and supermarkets.

Read more in the article Protect yourself and others with a flu shot this year during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about enrolling in ALLtech Benefits, available exclusively to GeekWire member companies, please fill out our Request a Quote form.

Forest enshrouded in wildfire smoke.

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Wildfire Smoke

From ALLtech vision care providers VSP Vision Care Inc.

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from Smoke VSP infographicWith the onset of wildfire season, decreased air quality could leave your eyes feeling like allergy season is back. Symptoms affecting the eyes such as itching, red, burning and watery eyes can all be caused by smoky air conditions.

Limit your exposure to smoke and prevent eye irritation with the following tips:

  • Use lubricating eye drops or artificial tears to keep your eyes refreshed and help get rid of dust and particles that can irritate eyes.
  • Don’t rub your eyes. You might transfer dust and ash from your hands or face to your eyes and that could scratch or irritate them. It’s also helpful to wash your hands regularly. If you wear contacts, this is no time to skimp on your contact lens hygiene – it’s always important to wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses so that the surface of your lenses stay free of eye irritants.
  • Keep windows and doors closed to keep the air indoors clean. Running your air conditioner may also help but be sure to keep the fresh air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent bringing in additional smoke. However, if it’s too warm to stay indoors with the windows and doors closed and you do not have air conditioning, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeking shelter elsewhere.
  • The CDC also recommends limiting indoor air pollution by refraining from using anything that burns, like fireplaces, gas stoves and candles. Vacuums can also stir up dust already present in your home. Air filters are also recommended for those with respiratory conditions.

If you believe you have an eye infection or injury, get medical attention as soon as possible.

With the swiftness of wildfires, things can often get left behind during an evacuation. If you find yourself in need of replacement eyewear or eye care due to a natural disaster, help is available. Visit vspglobal.com/disasteroutreach for more information.

Information received through VSP Vision Care channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.