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Healthy, Happy Hearts: American Heart Month

February is American Health Month and a great time to learn how making healthy life style choices and managing your health conditions can help you avoid heart disease.

Heart and cardiovascular disease can lead to a number of complications, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), and rheumatic heart disease. Conditions such as these can cause a person’s arteries to become blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. This can lead to a heart attack. Some of these conditions, such as high blood pressure, have no outward warning signs, which is why heart disease is sometimes called a “silent killer.”

Going to your doctor for routine, annual exams builds a baseline for your health and can help detect early warning signs that a serious condition may be developing.

The 4th District IBEW Health Fund covers annual exams 100% and provides several other benefits and programs that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and better manage your health:

  • Quit for Life® Program. This is the Fund’s tobacco cession program. It is available to you and your adult dependents at no additional cost. The program covers coaching calls and on-line support. The Fund covers prescription and over-the-counter smoking cessation products at 100%, with no copay, for up to two, 90-day treatments per year. After that, prescription smoking cessation products are subject to the copayments and limitations outlined on the Prescription Drug page. If you’re ready to get started, or want to learn more about the program, visit the Quit For Life page.
  • Member Assistance Program (MAP). The MAP provides professional and confidential counseling services to help you handle personal and/or work concerns constructively, before they become major issues. Counselors are available 24/7 to assist you with resources, advice and referrals for topics such as addiction, emotional well-being, fitness and nutrition, grief and loss, personal growth, physical health, pregnancy, personal safety and stress and anger management. For example, visit the “Heart Disease and Stroke” page to learn what you can do to help reduce your risk for heart disease and get on track to a healthier lifestyle. You’ll find informational articles, recipes and videos on this topic and many others.
  • HEALTHY LIFE Program. The best way to monitor your heart health is through an annual physical. The Fund covers an annual exam 100%, this includes associated laboratory and radiology services done as part of the exam. In addition, if you and your covered spouse get a physical exam before November 30, 2017, you will pay less for your benefits starting January 1, 2018. Visit the HEALTHY LIFE page for details.
  • Transition Care Program. If you or a covered dependent are admitted to the hospital for a heart-related or other medical condition, the Transition Care Benefit can help you navigate the health care system once you are released from the hospital. The program is designed to help you schedule follow-up medical appointments, locate health care providers, coordinate delivery of medical records, assist with community resources and coordinate prescription fills. Visit the Transition Care Program page for details.
  • LiveHealth Online. If you have any concerns about your health and are unable to reach your primary care physician, you can access board-certified doctors 24/7 through LiveHealth Online. This is a telehealth, or telemedicine, service that provides access to medical assistance for you and your covered dependents whenever you need it, where you need it. You can read more about this valuable benefit in the winter issue of the Wire. LiveHealth Online is not for emergencies. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, like a heart attack, always call 9-1-1.