April 2019 - Take Control of Your Care 
A Message from Your Hometown Health Manager
We are now in the third week of The Invitational Wellness Challenge ! In our first day alone, our participants accumulated a total of 1,079,338 steps! Way to go everyone!

Here are a few things to remember as you continue to progress through this steps challenge:

  • A minimum of five days MUST be logged each round to earn credit toward your incentive (log-in to your Hometown Health Portal).
  • At the end of each round, you will have until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesdays to ensure all your steps are logged from the current round.
  • You will not be able to back log steps from previous rounds.
  • It’s not too late to download our “Wellness At Your Side” app to quickly log steps. Please use Connection Code: HometownHealth (case sensitive).
  • If you are not manually entering steps and are utilizing a Fit Bit to import your steps, please be sure to log in each week to confirm all your steps are being imported correctly.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your Hometown Health portal, our WebMD Customer Service team is here to help seven days a week at 855.667.2546

All the Best,

Gwen Mahabir
Tips To Get Your Steps In 
By walking with friends, family, even your co-workers, you can catch up, and enjoy the physical benefits at the same time.

These days you can’t help but hear that many Americans suffer from serious health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease from eating poorly or not getting enough physical activity. Most of us know that regular physical activity is one of the most important things we can do to improve our health. Between work, school, running errands, and family commitments, finding ways to fit physical activity into our busy schedules can sometimes feel like a challenge

Fortunately, the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans provides options for reaching your physical activity goals through different kinds of activities. That’s the good news. Want even better news? One of the most popular forms of physical activity is one you already do every day—walking! More than 145 million adults now include walking as part of their physically active lifestyle. So if you’re not as active as you would like, why not consider walking more?

Choosing a Doctor 
Finding a doctor you trust is an important part of staying healthy.

You're more likely to schedule regular appointments. And you'll be more comfortable asking questions about your health.

Depending on your plan, you'll likely pay less if you use a doctor in your plan's network. In some plans, you may be required to choose a primary care doctor to coordinate your health care.

Determine if your doctor is in the network
You'll probably pay less when you visit doctors or other health care professionals in your plan's network. 

Why do you need a primary care doctor?
Choosing a primary care doctor is something many health plans require. But, even if your plan doesn't require it, finding one is a good idea. Why? When you see the same doctor who knows you and your medical history, that person can help coordinate your care. For example, your primary care doctor:

  • Treats routine illnesses.
  • Performs regular check-ups and screenings.
  • Is your first call for health concerns.
  • Refers you to specialists when you require further tests or care.

Knowing When to Seek Emergency Care
When facing unexpected medical conditions, you may want to go to the emergency room first. But this may not be your best choice.

At the ER, true emergencies are usually treated first. Other cases must wait – sometimes for hours. And it may cost you more.

When to visit your primary care physician
If it's not urgent, it's usually best to go to your primary care doctor. Your doctor knows you and your health history. He or she can access your medical records. Plus, your doctor can provide follow-up care and refer you to specialists.

When to seek urgent care
Sometimes, you may need care fast. If your primary care physician is unavailable, you may want to try an urgent care center or retail health clinic in your network. Some employers also offer health services for minor ailments.

Chances are you won't have to wait as long as at the ER. You may pay less, too.

Make Sure You’re Covered While Traveling 
Your health plan operates a bit differently when you are out of the country.

It helps to know what’s covered ahead of time so you can plan and add to your coverage if you choose, before you leave.

How health plans work when you are out of the country
While many plans may provide out-of-network coverage when you travel outside of the U.S., the way services are paid for can be different. Doctors and hospitals in other countries will commonly expect you to pay up front before starting treatment. Most likely, you will need to keep careful records and submit everything for reimbursement when you get home.

Check your health plan specifics about international travel
It’s a good idea to read your health plan documents or talk to your health insurance provider before you go. That way, you’ll know ahead of time what’s covered and what’s not, and you can see if there are any special services or requirements for international travelers.

Bring names of any medications along with you
If you or a family member are taking any prescription medication, make a written list of medication names and dosages. Also include the name, telephone number, email address, and mailing address of your prescribing doctor, just in case you need it.

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