Adapted from an article in the MESSA DiscoverYou March/April 2021 newsletter
Looking around your home, it may not feel like much of an oasis these days. Your counters and tabletops might be cluttered with magazines, lesson plans, Sharpies and the remnants of yesterday’s lunch. Maybe your living spaces are overflowing with more stuff than the norm.
A lot of living has been happening in homes across Michigan over the past year — the 24/7 work-from-home, parent-at-home, stay-at-home kind of living that’s been made necessary by the pandemic. With few breaks from the homestead, things can (literally) start to pile up.
Having too much clutter in your home can increase stress levels. A study done by the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that the chaos of clutter limits your ability to focus and makes it harder for your brain to process information. Call it visual-stimulus overload.
Clutter has also been linked to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to tension and anxiety.
As those feelings increase, so may your sense of helplessness of ever digging out of the mess.Spring is here, so it’s the perfect time to reclaim your space from the mess and dive into some hardcore spring cleaning. Here are some tips to get started:
- Start with the room you use most: In her book “Organizing Plain & Simple,” Donna Smallin suggests starting in the room where you spend the most time. Success in an often-used space will help motivate you to keep going. If an entire room is too much to tackle, start with a defined space like a counter, a table or desk. Every success will spur you to do more.
MESSA is alerting members that imposters are calling and claiming they are from their health insurance company or a pharmacy working with MESSA. Here's the message MESSA recently sent out about how to handle these phone calls:
Alert: Scammers calling MESSA members
MESSA has been made aware that scammers are calling our members and asking them for personal information. These calls are fraudulent; MESSA never calls to solicit Social Security numbers from our members.
If a member receives one of these scam calls from someone claiming to be from MESSA, “your insurance company,” or a pharmacy working with MESSA, members are asked to hang up immediately and call our Member Service Center at 800-336-0013 to report it.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office reports that these types of “imposter” scams are on the rise, and has provided some tips to help protect your identity.
Vaccination rates plummet amid pandemic
Health news from MESSA
Michigan’s vaccination rates have plummeted during the pandemic, putting our kids at risk for other serious illnesses such as measles and whooping cough. In May, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported that child vaccinations were down 44.5 percent overall compared with the previous two years.
That is a significant drop that can have serious health consequences for kids, said Dr. Julia Spalding, MESSA’s medical director.
No one can deny that this is a tough time to be a parent. With COVID-19 cases rising across Michigan, the temptation to keep a healthy child far away from the doctor’s office is strong. However, keeping your child up to date on vaccinations is a crucial part of protecting their health that should not be ignored.
If you’ve been putting off a well-child visit, it’s time to get back on schedule. Being prepared for what to expect can help alleviate your concerns about taking them to the doctor. Here are some questions to ask your child’s doctor office before visiting:
- Is my child up to date on their vaccinations?
- Do you have designated hours for well-child visits to keep healthy kids separated from children who may be ill?
- Are there separate entrances for healthy children and those who may be ill?
- Do you offer remote check-in from my vehicle?
- Do patients wait in the waiting room or in the parking lot?
- Do you offer vehicle visits, where the provider meets the patient in the parking lot?
- How often are the waiting rooms and patient rooms sanitized?
Adapted from an article in the MESSA DiscoverYou May/June 2020 newsletter
COVID-19 has disrupted the structure and routine of daily life, and it has taken a toll on MAFF members and their families. While life as we knew it won’t return any time soon, there are ways to cope with this new way of life by focusing on overall wellness — both physical and mental.
MESSA Health Promotion Consultant Rhonda Jones is the driving force behind MESSA Wellness, a program that focuses on mindfulness, movement and nutrition to help members feel calmer, stronger and healthier overall. Jones is a registered nurse and certified health education specialist with a master’s degree in health behavior. She’s also a personal trainer and has extensive training in mindfulness practices.
Since the Stay at Home order has been in place, Jones has heard from MESSA members experiencing depression, anxiety and fear. Members are also reporting high levels of fatigue, low levels of motivation and a propensity to overeat.
“Anxiety and depression has probably been the No. 1 thing that people are reporting, which leads to the other things,” Jones said. And those feelings can lead to greater health issues, including weight gain, high blood pressure or diabetes.
Without being able to travel to member meetings to help start or revive a worksite wellness program, Jones decided to host weekly wellness sessions during May on Zoom. As part of MESSA’s Spring Self-Care Challenge, she brought together experts in mindfulness, movement and nutrition to help reduce members’ stress during this time of heightened anxiety. All of the sessions can be viewed on MESSA’s YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/MESSAhealth.
Excerpted from an article in the MESSA DiscoverYou May/June 2020
As a MESSA member, you have access to Express Scripts pharmacy for convenient home delivery of the medications you take regularly.
The benefits of using Express Scripts include home delivery of a three-month supply of your long-term medications, free standard shipping and 24/7 access to a pharmacist from the privacy of your home.
3 STEPS TO GET STARTED
- Log in to your MyMESSA member account. Click the “Rx home delivery” link to register, transfer eligible prescriptions to home delivery and order refills.
- Contact your doctor. Call your doctor to obtain a new prescription for a 90-day supply of your long-term medications.
- Register adults covered by your plan. Dependents over 18 need to register with Express Scripts separately at express-scripts.com, and they need to authorize you to view and order prescriptions for them, if desired.
Just like at a retail pharmacy, your standard copayments and deductibles apply. Please note that short-term medications such as antibiotics must be filled by a local retail pharmacy, and specialty medications must be filled through your local pharmacy or via AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, a specialty home-delivery pharmacy.
For questions specific to Express Scripts’ delivery service, call Express Scripts at 800.903.8346 (TTY: 800.876.1089).
MESSA DiscoverYou is a bi-monthly health and wellness newsletter available to MESSA members. For more information about MESSA health benefits and services, call 1-833-341-6276. Visit MESSA online at www.messa.org.