ESHCA Wellness Newsletter
December 2019
The shareable link (also printable) for this issue of the newsletter is:
ESHCA 49-Day Nutrition Challenge (January 2020)
$50 Incentive

The Wellness Program emphasizes nutrition because it is 1) necessary and 2) it can be fixed?

  • 1) Data shows it is necessary!

  • The General Health Assessment indicates poor nutrition is our #1 health risk. This is not unique to the Association but is consistent with nation-wide norms. We live in a country so rich in processed foods that you could live a lifetime without ever eating a fruit or vegetable, the most nutritious foods on the planet.
  • A study designed to identify the most unhealthy professions, ranked construction professions 10th out of the 19 professions examined. Considering it is one of the more active professions, why would this be the case? It boils down to poor nutrition, including:

  • poor food choices (diets low in fiber and high in saturated fats)
  • workers indicated they were too tired to eat and did not have enough time to prepare meals
  • confusion reading labels
  • abstaining from food for long-periods of time and then overeating
  • comfort-eating
  • replacing meals with energy drinks, soda, alcohol or tobacco

  • Health insurance data from MVP, demonstrates a significant amount of health benefit dollars are spent on nutrition linked conditions including high blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol increasing the risk of high-cost claims resulting from heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Additionally, poor nutrition is linked to Alzheimer's disease, arthritis (joint replacements) and kidney disease.

  • 2) Poor nutrition can easily be fixed making it a low-cost solution to high health insurance costs!

  • Being consistent with just a couple eating habits can have a huge impact on your health and our health insurance spend. What can you commit to?
  • 6 servings of produce per day (3 fruits and 3 non-starchy vegetables/day)
  • Choosing whole grains over simple "white" carbohydrates
  • Using lean (low-fat) sources of protein
  • Limiting processed meat
  • Limiting the use of soda and diet soda

Reducing healthcare costs is a team effort! Developing a "healthy eating pattern" is a key to success!

  • The ESHCA 49-Day Nutrition Challenge is a "blueprint" to create healthy eating patterns. A bridge or a road is not built without a blueprint and neither is a good nutrition foundation.
  • If given the choice between two foods, most would have little difficulty choosing the healthy option. The challenge is having a "strategy" to consistently put healthy foods together, creating meals that are quick, easy, well-balanced and nutritious.
  • Work environments and lifestyles create obstacles. A healthy eating pattern (blueprint) is the key to developing strategies that overcome those obstacles. Do you have the time to prepare meals? Do you have the resources to eat healthy on the side of the road or in your office? The 49-Day Nutrition Challenge:

  • encourages you to plan and prepare
  • provides education on food choices
  • including identifying and choosing healthy proteins, carbohydrates and fats
  • addresses how to read labels
  • accounts for timing of meals and snacks
  • develops strategies that will carry over into the "work season"

In mid-December you will receive an email with registration details! Please consider participating!
  • Keep in mind, there is a $50 incentive to participate!

$25 Incentive Challenge - Fill out and score the Nutrition Assessment from the GHA

  • Step 1 - Download and complete the Nutrition Assessment.
  • Step 2 - Download the Score Sheet and score your assessment.
  • Step 3 - Based on your score, what are you doing well and what can you improve upon?
  • Step 4 - Return the assessment to me (email, mail or fax) and you will receive the $25 incentive.
  • Reminder: only one incentive can be given to each member household (with the exception that more than one employee-member lives in a household). Please contact me if you have questions.
  • The last day to submit this challenge for the incentive is 1/14/20.

Plan in Advance:
Schedule Your 2020 Annual Physical
$200 Incentive

ESHCA Wellness will continue to offer the $200 Annual Physical Incentive in 2020!!!

  • Why?
  • It is the best defense against high-cost claims that have increased insurance premiums over the past 3 years.
  • Establishing a yearly review with your Primary Care Physician has great benefits including:
  • a) early intervention;
  • b) and having a PCP familiar with your health history improves the quality of treatment; saving time and money.

  • What?
  • We require the following paperwork to be submitted (all paperwork can be downloaded from the "Wellness Section" at eshca.org):

  • 2) MD Biometric Form
  • "Know Your Numbers" - blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and body weight are indicators of current and future health. This step connects members to their health and encourages them to take ownership of it. It may not be a "cure all" but if 1,500 ESHCA members take a few steps to monitor and improve their numbers, we will likely see an improvement in our health insurance spending.

  • 3) Explanation of Benefits (receipt from MVP)
  • verifies you had a physical and that it was coded correctly, ensuring you were not charged a co-pay.

  • Who?
  • The member and the member-spouse are eligible for the incentive.

* Even if you do not want to submit the paperwork for the Annual Physical Incentive, I encourage you to fill out the General Health Assessment and the MD Biometric Form for your own educational purposes! Remember the formula, money saved on health insurance goes into the retirement accounts!!! Research demonstrates that the preventative services (annual physical, dental cleanings and eye exams) offered under the health plan at a $0 co-pay save money on health insurance spending over time, schedule your appointments today!!!

Stretch of the Month - Full Body

The General Health Assessment reveals that approximately 75% of ESHCA members suffer from back pain regardless of whether they are working in the field or sitting behind a desk. MVP data paints a similar picture, illustrating significant health insurance funds are being spent on orthopedic appointments and surgeries (including joint replacements). In addition, a fair share of prescription costs include anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers. While stretching and strengthening programs may not be the cure, they can be helpful in reducing pain and the risk of further joint damage or injury.

Throughout 2019, "Digging Wellness" has provided a "Stretch of the Month", starting at the feet in February and culminating with the neck in November. This month we are putting it all together and providing you with a complete full body stretching program.

Click here to download the 2019 Full Body Stretching Program!

The Wellness Program for 2020 will be adding a Financial Wellness section provided by our friends at QCI. Please be aware, a letter will be mailed to each member household in mid-December outlining the 2020 incentives, click here to download a copy of that letter!