September 2019
Issue No. 106
This month we want to emphasize to those in the Brethren Medical Plan that we are enhancing our customer service with a new program called Well360 . This is a Concierge program made possible through our association with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. It will give our members access to more extensive information and make them better healthcare consumers.

Also, Brethren Medical Plan members who have been diagnosed with diabetes should know that the Livongo program for diabetes managment is now up and running . Please take advantage of this benefit if it applies to you (you can read more about it below).

If you do not have medical insurance from Brethren Insurance Services, check with your insurance agent for similar programs.

As our population ages, medical alert devices become more necessary. But what older person wants to admit that he or she needs to wear one? It can feel like a sure sign of old age creeping in.

Well, let’s look at it another way. Wearing a device can keep you alive and healthy longer, and can protect you from the illnesses or accidents that are often more serious for older people. It can allow you to live independently longer and can extend your range of activity. Further, it can reassure you that you will be safe and taken care of in case of illness or injury.

So the reluctance to have a medical alert device is really counter-intuitive. Instead of being a sign diminishing life, it’s a way to extend life.

In this issue of Well Now you will find an article that details all the things to think about when considering a medical alert device. Then, if you are serious about acquiring one, you will need some help to sort through the various devices and systems that are available. There are many websites that review and rank the systems; you will find links to several that offer a variety of approaches.

Further, since choosing a device and system is fairly complex, there is a quick checklist of things to think about.

And just for fun, we’ve included our usual brainteaser and humor section.

As you read this, you may be soaking in the final days of summer season. May you find the coolness and shade you need, and may you remember summer’s warm embrace in the months ahead.
Livongo benefits for diabetes management

This past May, we told you about a Diabetes Management program that would be coming soon to those of you in the Brethren Medical Plan. We are happy to say that it is now up and running, and we hope you are able to take advantage of this robust benefit! The program is called Livongo, and makes managing diabetes, as well as accessing necessary supplies, much easier and affordable.

A new benefit that will help make
our members smarter

The healthcare industry is complicated and does not make it easy for people to make informed decisions. It is often hard to get access to good information. The question for Brethren Insurance Services is, “How do we make our members smarter healthcare consumers?”

A device that could save your life

Sooner or later you or someone in your family may have to consider a medical alert device. More and more people are living into their high 80s and 90s, meaning that even if you or your family member are still alert mentally, you may be weaker physically at those higher ages and the risk of falling increases. A medical alert device will give you a way to get help if you fall or become ill when you are alone. Actually, each device is part of a system, so the two words, “device” and “system,” are sometimes used interchangeably.

Which medical alert system
is right for you?

There are many websites that rate medical alert devices. Some systems appear on most or all of the lists, but different websites evaluate the various systems differently. To make really informed comparisons, you have to look at more than one ranking. Here are eight websites that will help you compare and contrast. Since you will probably not want to go through all these lists, read the short description first to see which approach is most likely to answer your questions.


Medical Mixup
There are 4 doctors who all work out of one medical building — Dr. Adam, Dr. Bob, Dr. Chuck and Dr. Danielle. They must all share space in the facility. Each gets one day of the week from Monday to Thursday. But as luck would have it the facility's schedule got mixed. 

They are a cosmetic surgeon, a podiatrist, a vet and a dentist. Their patients are Spot, Joe, Kate and Sid. Their bookings where for nasal hair removal, neutering, tooth filling and foot fungus removal.

Dr. Adam works only on Mondays and never on animals as they give him hives. 

Kate requires a filling because she's a Krispy Kreme addict. 

Fortunately, Joe was not neutered.

Dr. Bob had scheduled surgery, but not on Thursday or Wednesday; that's when he had nasal hair transplant classes. 

Dr. Danielle never took patients named Sid or ones with mushrooms protruding from their toes, and she liked pets but felt her husband was enough. 

Sid was booked for cosmetic surgery on Tuesday because Wednesday he had to take his dog to be neutered. 

Dr. Chuck didn't mind nasal hair, but preferred his patients to have hair all over. He also played golf Thursday-Sunday.

So, can you reschedule everyone?

Stretch your brain power

1. A man stands on one side of a river, his dog on the other. The man calls his dog, who immediately crosses the river without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How did the dog do it?

2. A sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece. Which has the most?

3. What is unusual about the following words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?

4. What makes this number unique -- 8,549,176,320?

5. Put a coin into an empty bottle and insert a cork into the neck. How can you remove the coin without removing the cork or breaking the bottle?

6. Two boxers are in a match scheduled for 12 rounds. (Pure boxing only - no kicking, UFC takedowns, or anything else). One of the boxers gets knocked out after only six rounds, yet no man throws a punch. How is this possible?

7. In 1990, a person is 15 years old. In 1995, that same person is 10 years old. How can this be?

8. A man takes his car to a hotel. Upon reaching the hotel, he is immediately declared bankrupt. Why?

9. What do these words have in common: polish, job, herb?

Riddles to puzzle over

A spirited jig it dances bright,
Banishing all but darkest night.
Give it food and it will live;
Give it water and it will die.


Alive as you but without breath,
As cold in my life as in my death;
Never a thirst though I always drink,
Dressed in a mail but never a clink.


Two men are in a desert. They both have packs on. One of the guys is dead. The guy who is alive has his pack open, the guy who is dead has his pack closed. Why is one of them dead?


What is a drill sergeant?


What is the difference between a bus driver and a cold?
For your long-term care needs
Brethren Insurance Services offers Long-Term Care Insurance all through the year.
If you're interested in purchasing coverage, you should know that eligibility for benefits is determined by the inability to meet at least two of these six activities of daily living bathing, eating, dressing, toileting, continence, or transferring. Cognitive impairment can also trigger benefits.
It's difficult to think about the fact that a debilitating condition or a disabling injury might leave you unable to care for yourself, or that when you reach your twilight years, the time will come when you will need some extra care. Long-term care insurance makes sure that you will get the care you need. It helps assure that the cost of your custodial care will not eat up your savings. Finally, and this is one of the best things about LTCI, it can help protect your children and other relatives from having to use their resources to care for you.
Brethren Insurance Services offers Long-Term Care Insurance for all members and employees of the Church of the Brethren and their family and friends; and also for employees of Church of the Brethren-affiliated agencies, organizations, colleges, and retirement communities and their families and friends.
If you are interested in obtaining this coverage, contact Brethren Insurance Services at  or 800-746-1505 for a free, no-obligation proposal.

About us
Insurance Logo
Church of the Brethren Insurance Services provides the following products - dental, vision, basic life and accidental death & dismemberment, supplemental life and AD&D, dependent life and AD&D, long-term disability, short-term disability, accident insurance, and Medicare supplement for eligible Church of the Brethren employees.
Dental, vision, and Medicare supplement coverage may also be available for eligible retired Church of the Brethren employees.
For eligibility information, call Connie Sandman at 800-746-1505, ext. 3366, or contact your human resources representative.
Medical and ancillary plans (named above) may be available to Brethren-affiliated employer groups.
Long-Term Care Insurance is available for all members of the Church of the Brethren, their family and friends, and employees of Church of the Brethren-affiliated agencies, organizations, colleges, and retirement communities.  
A not-for-profit ministry of
Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust Inc.

Contact Us 
1505 Dundee Ave
Elgin, IL 60120