Last Thursday night, several of the LIHD Commissioners and Superintendent Presson attended the Lopez Island Family Resource Center’s Community launch event for the Open Source Wellness (OSW) program. In addition to the local OSW team, OSW co-founders traveled from CA to help introduce the program to the community. It was wonderful to see such a large and diverse group of Lopezians actively participating in the two-hour event.

The OSW program brings people together to make eating well, exercising, reducing stress and enjoying meaningful social connections easy and accessible. LIFRC has done a wonderful job assembling a group of coaches, all of whom are Lopezians, with expertise in each area. The coaches led the large group through a series of activities that allowed participants to experience the OSW program.

A very big thank you to Barbara Schultheiss, LIFRC Executive Director, and the LIFRC Board for bringing this program to the Lopez community. Many thanks to Marjorie Schreurs who is overseeing the operational issues and coaching staff, and Makayla Dameron, LIFRC Americorps Vista. A big thank you to the coaches, Rae Graville, Diano Garcia, Nicole Szostak, and Nikola Paros for your time, energy and dedication.

We know from research that medical care accounts for only  10-20% of the modifiable contributors to healthy outcomes for a population. Health behaviors (such as diet and exercise) and Social & Economic factors (such as community safety and social support) can account for as much as 70%. OSW leverages the power of community to help improve health and wellbeing.

You can read more about the program, including how to sign up, by visiting thLIFRC website.


Board Notice

budged-clipart-budget-meeting-2The Agenda for the November 6th meeting to adopt the Proposed LIHD 2020 Budget and Levy has been posted. In addition to the Agenda, you will find the budget and levy documents. The meeting includes an opportunity for members of the public to provide comments and ask questions. The Board will consider public feedback prior to taking final action to adopt the proposed 2020 Budget and Levy.

Insurance Update – Part 2

Following the first post on Insurance, I was given some great feedback from the SHIBA volunteer on Lopez. As a reminder, Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) provide free, unbiased and confidential help with Medicare.

The prior insurance update included a lot of detail on the LifeWise plans and transition from Kaiser for individuals under 65. Since LifeWise will be the only health plan available to those individuals, there isn’t much to decide beyond the particular plan within the LifeWise offerings.

Conversely, individuals over 65  have more choices and types of plans to consider. In addition to the MedicareAdvantage plans through Premera, there are Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans with various health insurance carriers. You should also be aware of some unique rules resulting from the fact that your current MedicareAdvantage plan will no longer be offered in the County.

To learn about your options and decide what’s right for your individual situation, it’s best to either contact your health insurance agent or go to the  WA SHIBA website for information.

Insurance Update

As 2020 grows closer, we will continue to share information to help Lopezians navigate changes in the health insurance market. In addition to the various meetings taking place, you can obtain information on both the Individual market and MedicareAdvantage plan offerings on the web links below. Important to note that information specific to the LifeWise provider network will not be live on the Washington Health Plan Finder website until November 1st.

LifeWise FAQ for Individual insurance plans (under 65).

Coverage will start January 1, 2020. Current Kaiser Permanente members will be “mapped” to LifeWise plans. Here are some basics of how you will be notified, actions required, and how LifeWise will support the transition.

1. How are customers being notified of this change? Kaiser members should have received notification in September letting you know Kaiser is leaving San Juan County.
2. What are next steps for customers? The Washington Health Benefit Exchange (WAHBE) will notify the Kaiser members in late October/early November that you are being “mapped” to a LifeWise plan at the same metallic level as what you had with Kaiser. You can remain on the plan or select a different LifeWise plan through the WA Health Benefits Exchange.
IMPORTANT: Pay close attention to your mail and make sure to pay your first bill with LifeWise. While you will be mapped to a new plan, your auto-pay will not transfer. You must reset any auto-pay that was in place with Kaiser.
3. How do I find out if my doctor is in the LifeWise network? Visit the LifeWise Find Care Tool and search under the LifeWise Primary network. Note: LifeWise made an exception for patients of the UW Medicine Lopez Island Clinic who will be able to be referred into the broader UW Medicine system as in-network. Locally, Island Hospital, PeaceHealth, Providence/St. Joseph, Swedish, and Skagit Regional Hospital are all in-network.
4. How do I find out about prescription coverage? Visit the LifeWise website and select “Look for a 2020 plan,” and Select a plan. Prescription drug coverage shows within each plan detail.
5. What about specific prescriptions? Each plan summary on has an embedded deep link where you can search for your prescription medications.
6. What can customers expect with LifeWise? LifeWise plans were designed specifically for the Individual market to meet the needs of their customers. LifeWise gives you freedom with your plan – you can see any provider in the LifeWise Primary network, no referrals required.
7. What else is there to be excited about?

All LifeWise plans include:

  • No-cost preventive exams, screenings and vaccinations.
  • A Free 24-Hour NurseLine, and $15 copy for telehealth visit (except HSA plan)
  • Unlimited office visits at a $30 copay when seeing your designated primary care providers, naturopaths included (limit of 3 on catastrophic plan).
  • Acupuncture, chiropractic and massage care are available with a copay.
  • Preferred generic prescriptions are covered with a low copay on most plans.
  • Discounts program to save you money, including a 17% savings on Fitbit fitness products.

Board Notice

The Agenda and materials for the October 23rd Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners for the Lopez Island Hospital District has been posted. The Board meeting will begin an hour earlier than usual to accommodate annual presentations from Lopez Island Physical Therapy and UW Medicine Lopez Island Clinic. The meeting is scheduled to run from 3:30 – 6:30 pm and is being held at the Lopez Island Fire & EMS meeting room.

Insurance Update

If you are a current Kaiser Permanente MedicareAdvantage member you will want to learn about the new options available to you as of January 1, 2020. Click on the link to read about the new Premera Blue Cross MedicareAdvantage plans. The brochure  contains contact information for the local health insurance agent on Lopez, and there will be various educational sessions taking place in the weeks ahead.

Please watch for upcoming posts with information about the options for individuals under 65 and small businesses.

Long-Term Care Survey

surveyIf you are at least age 70 OR caring for someone age 70 or older, the County wants to hear from you!

Long-term care needs in our County are growing, and the Inter Island Healthcare Foundation (IIHF) is sponsoring a feasibility study to plan for current and future long-term care needs.

Please visit the IIHF website to learn more and find a link to complete the survey. If you would like a paper copy of the survey, please visit the Lopez Island Senior Center. Survey collection is currently underway and will close in the middle of September.

Be a part of helping shape the future of health care in San Juan County.