- October 2010 >Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer
The Value of Prevention
Your UT SELECT Medical plan encourages preventive care and maintenance of good health. Preventive care benefits included with your UT SELECT plan include, but are not limited to, one routine physical examination per plan year and one well-woman exam per plan year. These preventive benefits are available for a copayment of $30, the set amount you pay for certain medical services when utilizing a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas network Family Care Physician.
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself, which also happens to be one of the most accessible preventive treatments, is to visit your healthcare provider or clinic to get your seasonal flu vaccination. According to the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, vaccine experts recommend that everyone 6 months and older* should get a flu vaccine each year starting with the 2010-2011 influenza season.
Available through your healthcare provider or clinic at the same time as your annual physical or exam, or by separate appointment typically for the cost of an office visit copayment, getting the flu vaccine can help you avoid the usual symptoms of flu which include:
What are other steps that can be taken to prevent the flu?
In addition to the flu vaccine, the following good health habits can help prevent the flu:
The Cost of Treatment
Although there is a nominal fee associated with getting the flu vaccine, there are inevitable costs (both physical and financial) associated with treatment and recovery from the flu. While getting the flu vaccine does not guarantee that you will not get the flu, those who contract the flu virus typically incur the following costs:
Remember, whenever possible, budget for prevention, rather than paying the higher cost (both physically and financially) of treatment.
*If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health care provider.
Find this information and more at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/Flu/understandingFlu/Pages/keyFacts.aspx
Per OEB Administrative Policy 310.6, the only allowable change to Program Coverage during a plan year, other than a qualified change in status, is to correct an administrative error made during the initial period of eligibility or during the annual enrollment period that resulted in an unintended election.
However, per Policy 310.6.2, an employee’s request for a change in coverage will only be considered upon the employee’s submission of “clear and convincing evidence” of the mistake within 31 days of receipt of the first payroll check that contains the error in the coverage.
Check your first paystub or earnings statement after September 1 carefully to ensure that your Annual Enrollment elections are accurate.
The UT FLEX Grace Period allows UT FLEX Medical Expense Reimbursement Account participants an additional 2 ½ months each year (September 1 through November 15) to incur eligible expenses at the end of the plan year. By incurring eligible health related purchases or services during the grace period, UT FLEX medical participants can avoid forfeiting any leftover funds from the 2009-2010 plan year that ended on August 31, 2010.
Notice for Medical Expense Reimbursement Account Members: The grace period for your 2009-2010 UT FLEX Medical Expense Reimbursement Account will end on Monday, November 15, 2010.
Notice for Day Care Reimbursement Account Members: The grace period does not apply to the Dependent Day Care Account.
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Your Local Benefits Office: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/contacts.asp#1