One Survey That’s Not Too Close to Call: Americans Want to Safeguard Their Family’s Financial Wellbeing

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MILWAUKEE – September 22, 2014 – With the political season upon us and many polls too close to call, a new Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield survey finds one clear area of consensus.

Overwhelmingly, Americans say they are willing to make sacrifices both large and small for their loved ones.

From handing over the last piece of dessert (88 percent) to skipping a favorite TV show so their loved ones can enjoy their favorite program (90 percent) to caring for them in illness (96 percent) – Americans are a committed bunch when it comes to family.  

As a result, the majority of Americans view investing in a retirement plan (68 percent), creating a living will (64 percent), and selecting a life insurance plan (57 percent) as very important components in safeguarding their family’s future wellbeing.

Furthermore, the majority of Americans (83 percent) believe their family’s financial wellbeing is just as important as their emotional wellbeing. The survey found financial concerns (39 percent) — more than physical (36 percent) and mental (21 percent) concerns — cause Americans to worry most when they think about the future security of their family.  

“Alleviating the stress associated with financial worries is what our Life insurance products are designed to do,” said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “Our products and services help families that are dealing with the loss of a loved one by providing resources that address both their financial and emotional wellbeing.”

Research shows that spending money on others, rather than ourselves, boosts happiness and wellbeing – even if the amounts we spend are relatively small*.  One way people can increase their family’s level of happiness and their sense of wellbeing is to make sure they are protected financially and emotionally if and when unexpected events happen. This can be achieved by making sure they have the appropriate Life and Disability coverage.

“For consumers who are motivated to protect the future wellbeing of their loved ones, we offer top-tier designed plans at competitive prices with plenty of flexibility,” said Schreiber. “For example, our Resource Advisor member assistance program, which is included with Life and Disability plans, offers counseling, legal and financial consultations, and beneficiary companion services to help family members close accounts and finalize their loved one’s estate.”

The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield survey also illustrates the importance that consumers place on Life insurance, with two-thirds (67 percent) of survey respondents indicating they have Life insurance. Of this group, more than half (54 percent) indicated they fully pay for it. Yet, approximately one-third (33 percent) reported not having any Life insurance at all.

“It’s clear that Americans value Life insurance, which is good news,” said Schreiber. “September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, a perfect time for Americans to take the next step in safeguarding their loved one’s financial wellbeing by enrolling in Life insurance.”   

More information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Life insurance benefits can be found at http://specialtybenefits.info/wi.   

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among 1,005 adults 502 men and 503 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States.  Interviewing for this ORC International CARAVAN® Survey was completed on April 3-6, 2014.  605 interviews were from the landline sample and 400 interviews from the cell phone sample.  

The margin of error for the total sample is ±3.0 percent at the 95% confidence level.  This means that if we were to replicate the study, we would expect to get the same results within 3.0 percentage points 95 times out of 100.

Click here to download/view high resolution version of infographic

* Source: Dunn, E.W,. Aknin, L.B., & Norton, M.I. (2008) Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319 (5870), 1678-1688


About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), which underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare), which underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively, which underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.


An educational column about Enterovirus D68 by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s managing medical director, Dr. Michael Jaeger, now appears on a couple of Wisconsin news sites. Click the links below to read the column on each site:
BizTimes Milwaukee - Milwaukee Biz Blog
The Navigator Online

An educational column about Enterovirus D68 by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s managing medical director, Dr. Michael Jaeger, now appears on a couple of Wisconsin news sites. Click the links below to read the column on each site:

By Dr. Michael JaegerYou’ve likely seen news reports about a virus that is sending children to the hospital with severe respiratory illness, and worried about what you can do to protect your family. Here’s what you need to know.The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently identified the likely cause of these illnesses as the rarely reported Enterorvirus D68 (EV-D68). An outbreak of respiratory illness believed to be caused by EV-D68 is sending hundreds of children to the hospital and impacting children in a number of states including: Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.  Unusual cases of severe respiratory illness were first reported to the CDC last month. There is no specific treatment for Enterovirus D68, so it’s important to be aware of its symptoms and make sure that you and your family practice good hygiene to avoid getting the virus.EV-D68 belongs to a very common family of viruses – enteroviruses – of which there are more than 100 different types.  Every year, enteroviruses cause an estimated 10 to 15 million infections in the United States.  Enteroviruses usually cause mild respiratory illness, fever, rash, and in severe cases, swelling of the brain and spinal cord.  EV-D68 appears to primarily cause respiratory illness, although its full symptoms are still unclear. In a report of severe cases published by the CDC, children with the virus ranged from 6 weeks of age to 16 years-old.  All children had difficulty breathing, and many had a history of previous wheezing or asthma while very few had a fever.  EV-D68 can be found in respiratory secretions, and the virus is likely spread from person to person when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes, or touches surfaces.  For this reason, you can best protect yourself and your family by taking the following precautions:
wash hands frequently and thoroughly;
avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
avoid kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups with people who are sick; and
disinfect surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs.
There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infection, and there is no vaccine to prevent illness.  It is possible for anyone to become infected with EV-D68, however, many infections are likely mild and require only treatment of symptoms. Infants, children, and teenagers are more likely to develop serious illness because they do not yet have immunity from previous exposures to the virus.  This is likely also true for people with weakened immune systems.  As with most viruses, prevention and awareness are key to keeping them at bay. While enterovirus infections historically hit their peak in September, it’s not clear whether EV-D68 infection will follow a similar pattern. There is no need to panic about this virus, but there is reason to be cautious. The best thing do is to keep an eye on your family, and to make sure that if your child is not feeling well they get their symptoms checked by a professional.A family doctor by training, Dr. Michael Jaeger is the managing medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin.
Editors & reporters: A plain-text version of this column, as well as a photo of Dr. Jaeger are available upon request. Please contact scott.larrivee@anthem.com or 262-523-4746.

By Dr. Michael Jaeger

You’ve likely seen news reports about a virus that is sending children to the hospital with severe respiratory illness, and worried about what you can do to protect your family. Here’s what you need to know.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently identified the likely cause of these illnesses as the rarely reported Enterorvirus D68 (EV-D68). An outbreak of respiratory illness believed to be caused by EV-D68 is sending hundreds of children to the hospital and impacting children in a number of states including: Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.  Unusual cases of severe respiratory illness were first reported to the CDC last month.

There is no specific treatment for Enterovirus D68, so it’s important to be aware of its symptoms and make sure that you and your family practice good hygiene to avoid getting the virus.

EV-D68 belongs to a very common family of viruses – enteroviruses – of which there are more than 100 different types.  Every year, enteroviruses cause an estimated 10 to 15 million infections in the United States.  Enteroviruses usually cause mild respiratory illness, fever, rash, and in severe cases, swelling of the brain and spinal cord.  EV-D68 appears to primarily cause respiratory illness, although its full symptoms are still unclear.

 In a report of severe cases published by the CDC, children with the virus ranged from 6 weeks of age to 16 years-old.  All children had difficulty breathing, and many had a history of previous wheezing or asthma while very few had a fever. 

EV-D68 can be found in respiratory secretions, and the virus is likely spread from person to person when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes, or touches surfaces.  For this reason, you can best protect yourself and your family by taking the following precautions:

  • wash hands frequently and thoroughly;
  • avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoid kissing, hugging or sharing eating utensils or cups with people who are sick; and
  • disinfect surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs.

There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infection, and there is no vaccine to prevent illness.  It is possible for anyone to become infected with EV-D68, however, many infections are likely mild and require only treatment of symptoms. Infants, children, and teenagers are more likely to develop serious illness because they do not yet have immunity from previous exposures to the virus.  This is likely also true for people with weakened immune systems. 

As with most viruses, prevention and awareness are key to keeping them at bay. While enterovirus infections historically hit their peak in September, it’s not clear whether EV-D68 infection will follow a similar pattern.

There is no need to panic about this virus, but there is reason to be cautious. The best thing do is to keep an eye on your family, and to make sure that if your child is not feeling well they get their symptoms checked by a professional.

A family doctor by training, Dr. Michael Jaeger is the managing medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin.

Editors & reporters: A plain-text version of this column, as well as a photo of Dr. Jaeger are available upon request. Please contact scott.larrivee@anthem.com or 262-523-4746.

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes — October 18, 2014 — Milwaukee

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is proud to be a sponsor of the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes taking place in Milwaukee on October 18, 2014.

Click here to learn more and join/form a team. Sign up is free and a great way to take a step toward defeating diabetes.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is proud to be the presenting sponsor of Junior Power Pack, the official kids club of the Green Bay Packers. Learn more and sign your kids up here.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is proud to be the presenting sponsor of Junior Power Pack, the official kids club of the Green Bay Packers. Learn more and sign your kids up here.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield at City of Milwaukee Back-to-School Health Fairs

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield was proud to support the City of Milwaukee’s Back-to-School Health Fairs on August 8 and 15.

The Milwaukee Health Department reported increased attendance at this year’s events, welcoming more than 3,700 through the doors. Children were able to receive vaccinations, vision and dental checks, and lead screenings.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s favorite Habit Hero, Iron Man, was on hand at both events to meet with the kids and get them ready for a healthy and productive school year.

More fun:

  • Download Habit Heroes comic book featuring Iron Man
  • Get the free Habit Heroes app for Apple and Android devices

Dr. Jaeger Column — Green Bay Press-Gazette — Parents: 5 things to know for new school year

A new back-to-school column from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Dr. Michael Jaeger appears in the Green Bay Press-Gazette.  It provides some lesser-known ways to save yourself from back-to-school stress, including tips on how to use your insurance benefits to save time and money this school year.

Read all five tips on the Green Bay Press-Gazette website.

Off to College? Put a Doctor in Your Student’s Pocket

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Telehealth reshaping how people get treatment for minor ailments

MILWAUKEE – Aug. 25, 2014 – You’ve had the talk about the birds and the bees, and the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Now, your “little one” is ready to go off to college. But what about those medical ailments and health care questions you didn’t discuss and can’t plan for?

In the past, when sore throat or pink eye struck, college students may have had to choose between a long wait at an on-campus clinic, or a bus ride home to see their primary care doctor. Today, things are different, and the nearest doctor may already be in your student’s backpack or pocket.

Called telehealth, individuals can now use their smartphone, tablet or computer to have a live video visit with doctor. One such service is LiveHealth Online. Doctors using LiveHealth Online can provide a diagnosis, treatment, and even write a prescription if needed.

Best of all, telehealth visits are quite affordable. Many Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield members already have access LiveHealth Online as a part of their insurance benefits, and anyone can use the service simply by signing up at www.livehealthonline.com and paying with a credit card. Doctors using LiveHealth Online typically charge $49 per medical visit.

Here are just a few more reasons why students and families increasingly are turning to telehealth services:
 

  • Access anywhere, anytime: Telehealth services like LiveHealth Online allow you to connect with US-based, board certified primary care doctors within minutes by two-way video chat. Available 24/7, 365 days a year anywhere where telehealth is allowed in the US, it’s as easy as downloading an app on your phone or tablet.
  • The power of choice: We pick our friends, we pick our hair stylists — and most of us want to pick our doctors from the choices available to us. Telehealth services let you review the background and patient ratings of doctors where you are so you can select the one that most suits your needs. Doctors are there to handle acute conditions, exacerbations of chronic conditions, triage, refills and general advice. They can review a patient’s personal history with them, answer questions, diagnose and treat. Also, if medically appropriate and allowed by the state, doctors can send prescriptions directly to a nearby pharmacy.
  • Save time and money: Americans are constantly trying to balance busy schedules and are looking for quick, affordable solutions to help manage it all. Telehealth lets you skip long lines at the urgent care clinic and call from the comfort and convenience of your own home, with consultations typically lasting just ten minutes. No more worry about picking up additional germs as you sit in the waiting room. Telehealth is a cost-effective alternative to urgent care or retail clinics and may even be covered with your health plan — so you pay less.

A great way to get started with telehealth is by downloading the mobile app and registering for the service before your student is sick. This allows you to save your insurance and billing information directly in the system so your student doesn’t have to call you in the middle of the night when they need it.

The free LiveHealth Online app for mobile devices is available for Apple devices on iTunes and for Android devices on the Google Play store, and the service may be accessed by computer at www.livehealthonline.com.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), which underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare), which underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively, which underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About LiveHealth Online
LiveHealth Online is a telehealth tool that provides consumers with a convenient way to have live video conversations with doctor, get a diagnosis, and receive treatment for common urgent care-type health conditions. Consumers can access board certified doctors through livehealthonline.com or on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet using the free app. It is secure, private, easy-to-use and affordable. Consumers can have live, instant or planned visits with their choice of doctors seven days a week, 24 hours a day, using two-way video conferencing, along with instant messaging. LiveHealth Online is the trade name of Health management Corporation, a separate company, providing telehealth services on behalf of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

My LIveHealth Online Story: Juliette
Sick at college and can’t get into on-campus clinic

To learn more and use LiveHealth Online, visit www.livehealthonline.com.

My LIveHealth Online Story: Jennifer
Confronting an all-too-familiar sore throat

To learn more and use LiveHealth Online, visit www.livehealthonline.com.

My LIveHealth Online Story: Jack
Feeling ill during a polar vortex

To learn more and use LiveHealth Online, visit www.livehealthonline.com.

My LIveHealth Online Story: Brandon
Tried to tough it out; now faces possibility of feeling sick all weekend

To learn more and use LiveHealth Online, visit www.livehealthonline.com.

My LIveHealth Online Story: Danielle
Finds a rash on her child’s body on a Friday night

To learn more and use LiveHealth Online, visit www.livehealthonline.com.