Knit with Heart

Vantage Point: Seniors Knit with Love to Help Others

Before I met with Aїda Bound—a social worker and fierce fighter for civil rights, social justice, the aged, and the underserved—I hoped to impress her with the yarn I was going to donate to the greater Wenatchee Area Hat Project. But as Aїda talked about collecting, sorting, storing, and delivering the hats and the difference the program makes to the (mostly) seniors who make the hats and the children in need who receive them, I was the one who was dazzled.

Health Alliance Medicare employees get the chance to help members every day by giving them great customer service and healthcare benefits. Having a local presence means we can also be involved in North Central Washington communities. Helping others is the principle behind the Hat Project, too. Seniors can join in, even if they are homebound with poor health. Yarn is donated, and hat makers get to choose the design, color, and pattern of each hat and can knit, crochet, or use a loom.

The hat makers know their time and talents are helping others, and it gives them a chance to be creative and social while having fun. One 98-year-old member said it gave her a reason to live. Aїda helped a woman who had dementia and couldn’t remember the pattern keep participating by having her tie knots for quilts made by another member. That way the woman could still benefit from the social support the program provides.

Aїda said, “Love is knitted into each hat and is what makes the difference to the children.” For some kids, choosing a handmade hat may be the first time they have ever been able to pick out something brand-new for themselves.

To donate to the Wenatchee Area Hat Project, please drop off yarn at Wenatchee and East Wenatchee Washington Trust Banks. (They welcome gas card donations, too.)

As someone who donated yarn, it was fun to choose the colors and imagine a senior making something so beautiful for a child in need. If you think a Hat Project could benefit your community, Aїda is willing to help. Call her at 509-888-1953, or email her at gutsgranny@nwi.net.

Solving the Healthcare Puzzle with Medicare Advantage

The Benefits of Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans, or Part C Medicare plans, are a great choice because they give you all the pieces of the puzzle.

This video gives you an in-depth look at all of the things Health Alliance’s Medicare Advantage plans can offer you.

Not only that, but Medicare Advantage Plans can offer you things that Medicare Supplement Plans cannot. Compare the two and see for yourself.

advantage

(click to enlarge)

If you still want to learn more about Medicare Advantage, check out our website’s Understand Medicare section.

Call 1-888-382-9771 (TTY 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. Or visit HealthAllianceMedicare.org for more info.

Health Alliance Medicare is an HMO, PPO, and PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment depends on contract renewal. You must continue to pay your Part B premium. Low-cost prescriptions are available at other in-network pharmacies. The benefit information here is just a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium, and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year.

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Health Education

National Health Education Week

It was National Health Education Week, so we gave you helpful info and resources each day on social media so you could learn more about a variety health subjects.

Did you know Hepatitis B is the most common infectious disease in the world today? Approximately 2 billion people have it. That’s why vaccinations are so important! Learn more.

29.1 million people, 9.3% of the population, have diabetes. 8.1 million people, or 27.8 % of those who have it are undiagnosed. Learn the symptoms and get help today.

Mental illness affect 1 in 4 Americans every year. These conditions are some of the lease covered by media. You can learn more about what you or your loved ones are feeling and going through, and find or give help.

Oral and dental health problems like dry mouth, gum disease, and denture sores can become serious. Yearly dentist visits are important to preventing these. If you think you might be suffering from one of these, you can learn more.

Not getting enough sleep is related to lots of other health problems, and ¼ of Americans don’t get enough. Nearly 10% experience chronic insomnia. Learn more about some of the things that could be hurting your sleep.

187 million adults and 6.8 million children currently suffer from asthma, and people still die from it each year. Learning and being prepared is the key to maintaining your asthma. Take control with these tips from the American Lung Association.

Lung cancer is the leading cancer-killer in the U.S. While tobacco use can be a cause, those who have never used tobacco can still get it. Lung cancer also presents many emotional challenges, including blame. Learn more about the disease and helping.

Halloween Party Treats

Healthy Halloween Party Food

We were still getting you ready for Halloween this week on social media with some healthy, and sometimes spooky, Halloween party foods. Follow us on Pinterest for lots of other great recipes.

Wow your kids and their friends with this super creepy watermelon brain.

Creepy Watermelon Brain
Image and Recipe via Instructables.com

 

Try Candy Corn Fruit Cups for your guests as an easy and festive dessert.

Candy Corn Fruit Cups
Image and Recipe via The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

 

Don’t toss the slime from your pumpkin carving! Make Toasted Pumpkin Seeds 3 Ways.

Pumpkin Seeds 3 Ways
Image and Recipe via 101 Cookbooks

 

Skip the processed candy corn, and make fun and healthy Candy Corn Popsicles instead.

Candy Corn Popsicles
Image and Recipe via Healthy Kid Fuel

 

Every party needs a dessert! Try Healthy Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes.

Take the “Fright” Out of Halloween Night with our Recipe for Healthy Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes

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Quality Customer Service with Health Alliance

Why Should I Choose Health Alliance?

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is in full swing, and you might be wondering why you should pick a plan with Health Alliance?

Insurance for Real Life.

We treat you like a person, not a policy. We don’t like to brag, but we have a pretty amazing team. Every person, from front office to corner office, wants you to be your best.

Tens of thousands of network physicians
Hundreds of network hospitals
Nearly 300,000 members
500-plus Health Alliance employees and growing to serve your needs
One goal. Deliver top-notch insurance that fits your needs and budget

You Can Relax Knowing You’re Covered

We are always building our network to give you a large network of doctors, hospitals, and clinics you trust.

If you’re miles from home and outside your network, we have services linked to getting quality emergency medical care while traveling 100 miles from home or abroad through Assist America.

We Are Here to Help

We love hearing from our members. So whether it’s in person, on the phone or through social media, when you have a question, our Customer Service reps are here for you.

You’ll never have to jump through hoops to get answers. They give personal help to over 40,000 callers each month and connect members to answers in 15 seconds or less, on average. They resolve 99.6% of issues on the first call.

They’re also happy to meet with you. Just stop in Monday through Friday. We’re at 206 W. Anthony Drive in Champaign, IL or 316 S. Fifth St., Wenatchee, WA.

Our Medicare seminars are informational meetings we hold all over our service areas during the AEP, so you can find one close to you.

Extra Benefits

Our Medicare Advantage plans have extra benefits like SilverSneakers Fitness Program, $0 Tier 1 drugs at Walmart and Sam’s Club, Assist America, and our Anytime Nurse Line.

We also help you settle in. We mail you your member materials. We will also call you to verify that your coverage is in place and talk to you about making the most of your benefits.

Health Alliance will take care of you every step of the way. It’s no wonder 96% of our members unpack their bags and stay awhile.

Call 1-888-382-9771 (TTY 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. Or visit HealthAllianceMedicare.org for more info.

Health Alliance Medicare is an HMO, PPO, and PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment depends on contract renewal. You must continue to pay your Part B premium. Low-cost prescriptions are available at other in-network pharmacies. The benefit information here is just a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium, and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year.

Making Healthy Candy for the Holidays

Healthy Candy for Halloween

This week on social media, we kicked off a food theme for the rest of October that will get you ready for Halloween. This week is with ways to have your candy, and eat it too, with healthy candy recipes.

Check out our Pinterest board Healthy Candy for even more healthy recipes.

We started off with Homemade Tootsie Rolls, which are easy and delicious!

Homemade Tootsie Rolls
Image and Recipe via A Cozy Kitchen

 

Try these healthier Homemade Peanut Butter Cups as a tasty Reese’s replacement.

Healthier, Homemade Peanut Butter Cuos
Image and Recipe via Mother Nature Network

 

Whip up these delicious Butterfingers for a healthy version of your crunchy favorite.

Homemade Butterfingers
Image and Recipe via Detoxinista

 

Most licorice is made from wheat-flour, so today we’re giving you a gluten-free Twizzlers knock-off that everyone will love.

Gluten-Free Twizzlers Knock-Off
Image and Recipe via Gluten Free on a Shoestring

 

These homemade, Light 3 Musketeers Bars are worth the extra work!

Homemade 3 Musketeers Bars

Homemade {hot-chocolate} Three Musketeer Bars

 

Update this Halloween classic with smoky-sweet Chipotle Peanut Brittle at just 133 calories.

Chipotle Peanut Brittle

 

Try making Homemade Almond Joys this Halloween for a lighter treat.

Homemade Almond Joys
Image and Recipe via Pastry Affair

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Bone and Joint Health

Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week

This week was Bone and Joint Health National Awareness Week! That meant all week long on social media, we gave you some helpful facts and articles about keeping your bones and joints strong for life.

48% of the population over the age of 18 are affected by bone and joint conditions. Check out these quick tips for how you can protect your bones at any age.

Bone and joint conditions are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability worldwide, affecting millions of people. Look at some tips for protecting your joints long-term.

Treatment and lost wage costs associated with bone and joint conditions in the U.S. alone was an estimated $950 billion from 2004 to 2006, which is 7% of the GDP. Find out more about programs where you can learn more and help.

Keeping an eye on how much calcium and vitamin D you consume each day is crucial to your bone and joint health. Check out these easy tips and 5 foods to strengthen them.

Research funding for these conditions is less than 2% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) annual budget. Find out more about programs where you can learn more and help.

Your diet has a huge impact on your bone and joint health. The right amount of protein and quality carbs, plus your calcium and vitamin D, can make a huge difference. And don’t forget to ditch the sodas! Read more.

Since 2011, when “Baby Boomers” began Medicare, the economic cost of bone and joint health has risen and is expected to continue for decades. Read this article about ways to improve your bone strength, including the foods and supplements that will help your body keep the most calcium.

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