Holiday Hours – Thanksgiving

Trustmark’s offices will be closed on Thursday, November 23, 2017, and Friday, November 24, 2017, in observance of Thanksgiving. Regular business hours will resume on Monday, November 27, 2017. Have a wonderful holiday!

November 22, 2017 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

Strategies to Combat Hunger

GettyImages-534114184.jpgPlanning meals and snacks is an important tool to help manage what you eat if you are trying to change your diet plan or losing weight. When unexpected situations that cause you to miss a meal or snack, eating at a different time, or changing to a new diet can trigger feelings of hunger and possibly lead to overeating. Try these tips to help stay on track and make smarter choices.

  • Always have some healthy snacks within reach to avoid eating stopping at a fast food drive-thru or other less healthy choices.
  • If you are having issues eating between meals, try to drink more water. This can help you determine if you are actually hungry. This method can help with two things if you are trying to lose weight: eating less and staying properly hydrated.
  • Try walking around instead of grabbing for a snack when you are feeling restless or bored. A short walk can help you refocus and determine if you really were hungry at all.

Source: Health and Fitness: Best Laid Plans to Combating Hunger. Dr. Brian Parr. Aiken Standard. 9/24/17.

September 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

How to Find the Best Doctor for You and Your Family

GettyImages-629600604.jpgChoosing a doctor is one of the most important health decisions you can make. But finding a reputable physician who you like and meets your needs isn’t always easy. One of the best ways to find a doctor is to ask a physician, nurse or healthcare professional you know for the names of doctors or practices whom they like and trust in your area.

Here are some things to consider as you search for Dr. Right:

  1. Check your health benefit plan. If you have a PPO plan, check the network’s doctor directory or search on its website for doctors in the network. Because doctors often add or drop networks, call the office to verify that the doctor will accept the network.
  2. Consider hospital affiliation. Your choice of doctor can determine which hospital you go to, if needed, so find out where the doctor has admitting privileges.
  3. Look for board certification. Being certified through the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) means a doctor has earned a medical degree from a qualified medical school, completed three to seven years of accredited residency training, is licensed by a state medical board, and has passed one or more exams administered by a member of the ABMS. Check that the doctor has this certification.
  4. Consider compatibility. Use your first visit as a litmus test. Consider these issues:  Does he or she fully answer your questions? Does the doctor explain your diagnosis and treatment, and specify a date for a follow-up visit?
  5. Find out about office policies. Ask how long it takes to make an appointment for a routine visit (it should be less than a week), whether they offer same-day appointments, and how long patients are kept in the waiting room.
  6. Factor in technology: Electronic health records let your doctor track your medical history, share info with spe­cialists and monitor all of your drugs. Patient portals give you 24-hour access to your health information, al­lowing you to book and track doctor appointments, get lab results, request prescription refills and e-mail questions to your doctor. Ask how your information will be kept private and confidential.

There are times when a medical second opinion can offer peace of mind about treatment decisions. Members of a major medical employer-sponsored, self-funded health benefit plans administered by Starmark® have access to Grand Rounds®, which provides medical second opinions from expert physicians specializing in the area of need. It’s available for no additional cost to members and does not require travel. Read how Kim got a medical second opinion from an expert physician through Grand Rounds at no additional cost to her.

-Adapted from Consumer Reports, by Joel Keehn, March 30, 2017.

September 28, 2017 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

Ways to Cut Your Healthcare Costs

Finance ConceptThe cost of healthcare continues to rise. That is why it’s a good idea to take steps to limit your out-of-pocket healthcare costs while receiving the care you need. The tips below can help you get the most from your benefits and save money on your care:

  • Save money on your medication. Ask your healthcare provider if you can switch to generic medicines or if there is a less expensive drug that treats the same condition. When possible, order your medicine through the mail. And, take all of your medicines as directed to avoid further health problems.
  • Consider your options for urgent and emergency care. Save both time and money by using the proper level of care and research where they are located before you need to use them.
  • Ask about outpatient facilities. If you need a procedure or surgery, ask your provider if you can have it done at an outpatient clinic. Often, getting care at a clinic is cheaper than having the same procedure in a hospital.
  • If you have a PPO plan, choose in-network healthcare providers when possible. Typically, you’ll pay less to see providers who are in-network rather than those who are out of network.
  • Take care of your health. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and not smoking lowers your risk for health problems. Staying healthy helps avoid costly tests and treatments for ongoing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

Additionally, healthcare consumers should shop around to save money. Members of major medical plan designs administered by Starmark® with an effective date of Dec. 1, 2016, or later, have access to Healthcare Bluebook™, an online cost and quality transparency tool. Members can access Healthcare Bluebook by registering and logging into > Health and Wellness > Healthcare Bluebook.


September 27, 2017 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Tips for Being Prepared for Emergencies

GettyImages-521088758.jpgAs recent natural disasters in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean have shown, tragedy can strike at any time. That’s why it’s important to have a planned response to unexpected emergencies when you’re at home, work and on vacation. It is important to prepare yourself and your family to be ready to respond to natural and man-made disasters – no matter where we live.

If a disaster strikes in your community, you might not have access to food, water or electricity for several days. You may think that you will have enough time to run to the grocery store, but stores quickly sell out of important supplies following emergency warnings. Unfortunately, about half of adults in the United States do not have the resources and plans in place for a possible emergency. Preparing emergency kits for your family is an important step in keeping them safe and healthy during a disaster.

In addition to food and water, the CDC recommends your emergency kit include:

  • important documents, especially paperwork about any serious or ongoing medical conditions
  • copies of insurance cards and immunization records
  • your family emergency plan, complete with family and emergency contact information
  • extra cash, maps of the area and an extra set of car and house keys

During times like these, consider telemedicine if you need to address non-emergency health issues. Members of employer-sponsored, self-funded health benefit plan designs administered by Starmark® have access to Teladoc®, which provides video or phone consultations* with U.S. board-certified doctors for non-emergency medical care. Teladoc offers these suggestions for what you should include in a basic emergency supply kit.

*The consult fee for Teladoc is the lesser of $45 or the office visit copay, if selected.

September 27, 2017 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

Ideas for Planning a Green Vacation

Family playing on the rocksAre you taking a summer vacation this year? Consider these Go Green suggestions to make it a more environmentally friendly trip.

Select a green destination- does the city have:

  • A robust public transportation system
  • Acres of parkland
  • Walkable neighborhoods
  • Designated bike lanes
  • Farmers markets

Hotel stay

  • Skip the bottles of water in the room, instead opt for reusable beverage container
  • Participate in the hotel’s linen and towel reuse program, if available
  • Turn lights off when you leave the room
  • Decline housekeeping (some hotels will give a food and beverage credit)
  • Bring your own travel size soaps to use (encourage hotel to enroll in Clean the World, a nonprofit organization that sends donated hotel toiletries to developing countries).

Green activities

  • Sail, snorkel, scuba dive, hike, paddleboat, paddleboard, kayak, bike, swim, bird-watch
  • Visit crafts or food market, and use reusable bags
  • Take a tour with local guides
  • Use available space in your suitcase to provide supplies to communities you visit with “Pack for a Purpose”:
    • It’s easy- check your destination; find an accommodation or tour company and a project it supports; choose supplies you wish to take from the specific items requested; drop off the supplies at the accommodation or tour company.

Remember, you can Go Green with Starmark® by opting into the Starmark Document Center to conveniently access your important documents online 24/7/365.

Source: Green means go: How to plan an eco-vacation from start to finish. Andrea Sachs. The Washington Post. 5.22.17.


June 2, 2017 at 2:25 pm Leave a comment

Making Your Health a Priority

524177336.jpgAccording to a recent article, making commitments and creating an actual action plan can help you reach your health and fitness goals. Try these simple steps:

  • Pick one thing to change. Prioritize with a list of what you would like to change and then take time to really think about it. Do some items affect others on the list? Once you determine what your top priority is, set a goal that is tangible.
  • Create a positive habit. Don’t focus on the outcome, but rather a new behavior. For example, if you plan to lose weight, try eating healthier and just getting up and moving versus only focusing on the scale.
  • Change your environment. Depending on the goal, this can vary. But, if your goal is to eat healthier, be sure to stock your kitchen with healthy, wholesome foods you will actually eat.
  • Small changes add up. Remember even the littlest changes can lead you closer to your goal.
  • Get back on track. You may veer off track once in a while, so stay positive and get back into your routine quickly.
  • Use daily reminders to stay on track. You can add goal reminders into your smart phone calendar or wherever you might see it to help reinforce positive behaviors.

Need more? Plan participants can log into the Starmark® website for an online tool to help with their health goals.  

Source: 7 steps to making your health your No. 1 priority. Betsy Mendel. Los Angeles Times- Health and Wellness. April 13, 2017.

April 14, 2017 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

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