The year ahead comes with a few changes to Health Options’ health insurance plans – and it’s all good news. One change we are excited to announce is a new tiered provider network option available in select individual/family Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans. While tiered plans may be new to Health Options, they are not new to health insurance. In fact, they are a proven way to save money on medical expenses. Read on to learn what tiering means to insurance plans and what it means to you as a health insurance consumer.
Tiered provider networks are a way to better manage the costs of healthcare services. They also provide health insurance consumers a better way to consider the cost of care when choosing their care options. Plans featuring tiered provider networks generally combine quality and cost in developing a preferred tier. Providers with high-quality outcomes and lower contracted prices are typically placed in the most preferred tier rankings.
As a consumer, you may wonder how Health Options decides which providers are considered part of our preferred tier. It is important to note, that all providers meet our quality standards, which is why they are part of the Health Options network. For tiered providers, we review claims history to analyze the quality of provider outcomes combined with their contracted cost and efficiency. Providers and facilities that meet or exceed our standards for quality, cost, and efficiency are “preferred,” and others are “standard.”
To take advantage of tiered providers, you will need to select an individual/family plan with a tiered network option, which is available in both bronze and silver metal level plans for 2022. It’s important to note, that on a tiered plan, you always have the option to visit standard providers with a standard co-pay.
As we enter the Open Enrollment season for 2022, we are proud to offer the highest quality healthcare at the best possible value with all our plans, and our new tiered network offers additional savings. If you have questions about tiered network plans and want help finding the health insurance plan that best suits your needs, contact our Member Services team at (855) 624-6463.
There is never a bad time to start a good new habit. And as we enter another year with the pandemic continuing to cause disruptions and uncertainty in our lives, this is an excellent time to use Healthwise resources to learn about some easy and useful self-care habits.
Whether you unwind at the spa or on the golf course, self-care can mean many things to many people (that’s pretty much where the term comes from). We want to discuss and link to three easy, free care practices you can apply to your daily life to reduce stress and clear your mind. These practices do not require any special equipment or classes; you don’t need a therapist to do them, and they are quick enough to try almost any time you need.
1) The first stress reducer is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which can help you calm your mind and better cope with illness, pain, and stress. “Mindfulness" means reminding yourself to focus only on things happening in the present moment. Healthwise advises going outside and taking a few deep breaths. How does the air feel? Warm or cold? Try to accept that feeling and not resist it. What else do you notice around you? Or, take a slow walk by yourself. Count your steps while you breathe in and out.
It sounds simple, and it is. However, like any habit, it will take a couple of months to really make it stick. For more tips on mindfulness, search “MBSR” on the Healthwise search bar.
2) A second way to “train your brain” into a calmer state is to use guided imagery, a practice of using directed thoughts and suggestions to guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. Athletes use guided imagery to imagine a race or a game before they are in it, and the same steps can be used to prepare for a big meeting or public speaking. Other methods involve imagining watching wax soften and melt or a tight piece of rope unraveling. Healthwise has videos and lists to help you through this process. Check out more tips by searching "guided imagery" at Healthwise.
3) For a way to connect your mind and body for clear thinking and better sleep, try progressive muscle relaxation.
Healthwise notes, “The body responds to stress with muscle tension, which can cause pain or discomfort. In turn, tense muscles relay to the body that it's stressed, which keeps the stress–muscle-tension cycle going.” Progressive muscle relaxation helps break this cycle, creating body-mind awareness and calm. Healthwise has recordings to guide you through all the muscle groups, or you can learn the order of muscle groups and work through them from memory. To get started, choose a place where you can lie down on your back and stretch out comfortably. You can begin working through the muscle groups by clenching your hands and releasing them. Next, according to Healthwise, you tense each muscle group (hard but not to the point of cramping) for 4-10 seconds, exhaling and relaxing each muscle group quickly.
For more pointers, Healthwise has more articles, videos, and lists (search progressive muscle relaxation) to help you through this process. And if these three de-stressors aren’t your cup of tea, use the Healthwise search bar to do more exploring.