HEALTH NOTES: Flu Shots, ‘Maintain Don’t Gain,’ Open Enrollment


  • Flu shots for staff and faculty
  • ’Maintain Don’t Gain’
  • Open enrollment underway
  • Presentations and help desk
  • Consider ‘staying in the family’
  • Employees, retirees express satisfaction

The Staff and Faculty Health and Well-Being Program has two seasonal gifts for you: a free flu shot and “Maintain Don’t Gain,” a weight management program held annually around the holidays.

The free flu shots are available to staff, faculty and their dependents 18 years old and up. One clinic has already been held, and there's only one more scheduled: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Friday (Nov. 4), with shots available for the first 200 people who show up. The clinic will be held in the lobby of the Cowell Building (the former Cowell Student Health Center) on California Avenue.

The shots are being made available without regard to your health plan affiliation. Note, however, that if you are a Kaiser patient, your medical records will be updated to reflect that you have received a flu shot. 

The Staff and Faculty Health and Well-Being Program is inviting sign-ups for this year’s edition of “Maintain Don’t Gain,” a free, eight-week program that aims to help people avoid the extra 1 to 2 pounds that most Americans typically gain this time of a year. “Maintain Don’t Gain” provides weekly challenges and supportive tools and tips for healthy behaviors, and asks you to weigh yourself regularly.

“‘Maintain Don’t Gain’ is a simple way to stay mindful of healthy habits such as incorporating physical activity and healthy eating into your enjoyment of the festivities,” said Stacey Breezing, director of the Staff and Faculty Health and Well-Being Program.

“Maintain Don’t Gain” runs from Nov. 15 to Jan. 10. Sign up here and get ready to practice healthy habits, support your well-being and maintain your weight over the holidays. People who complete the program’s final survey will be entered into a drawing to win a foldable bicycle.

Question about flu shots or “Maintain Don’t Gain”? Contact Brezing by email or call her at 530-752-6094.

Open enrollment is ... open!

You have until 5 p.m. Nov. 22 to make your choices. Here’s the open enrollment website, where you’ll find a “sign in” button to take you to At Your Service Online; once there, click on “Open Enrollment” under the Health & Welfare tab.

Even if you’re happy with your current benefits, there are some important changes and opportunities for 2017 you should be aware of:

  • Disability insurance — Protect your paycheck in the event of an injury, illness or pregnancy. Don’t miss your one-time opportunity to change or add supplemental insurance (voluntary short-term disability, voluntary long-term disability, or both), with no statement of health required. UC has expanded eligibility for this coverage — to include all employees with mid-level and core benefits, as well as employees with full benefits — so this may be your best opportunity to enroll.
  • Medical plans — UC’s preferred provider organization (PPO) medical plans will have new administrators next year for behavioral health and prescription drug benefits. Kaiser Permanente and Health Net Blue & Gold have expanded networks for increased options for health maintenance organization (HMO)  members.
  • Your medical plan costs — UC has once again avoided significant cost increases for faculty and staff. Here are employee medical plan costs for 2017.

Presentations and help desks

Learn more

The Davis campus Benefits Office is offering two more presentations and a help desk session on open enrollment in general, including disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, and dental, vision and legal plans. All of these sessions will be Thursday (Nov. 3) in MU II, Memorial Union, as follows:

  • Presentation — 9-10 a.m.
  • Help desk — 10 a.m.-noon
  • Presentation — noon-1 p.m.

No RSVPs or appointments required.

Consider ‘staying in the family’

When reviewing your medical plan options for next year, the university asks you to consider “staying in the family” — by choosing a plan that includes the UC Davis Medical Group. Many of its primary care clinics are currently accepting new patients.

UC Davis Medical Group primary care clinics offer family medicine, internal medicine and-or pediatrics in 10 communities throughout the region, from Auburn to Davis to Elk Grove. The newest is the UC Davis Midtown Ambulatory Care Center, which consolidates three primary-care clinics and support services in a newly renovated building at 3160 Folsom Blvd. (with free parking in a dedicated garage), just over a mile from the UC Davis Medical Center.

The Midtown Ambulatory Care Center offers a range of primary and specialty health services, such as:

  • Adult and pediatric primary care
  • On-site appointments with specialists in several popular medical specialties, including neurology, gastroenterology and sleep medicine
  • On-site laboratory and imaging services, including a sleep lab

Many other UC Davis Medical Group offices also offer onsite specialty care and support services, and UC Davis patients can benefit from streamlined access to specialists at the UC Davis Medical Center when the need arises.

More information on the UC Davis Medical Group is available online.

Employees, retirees express satisfaction

Results are in from surveys last spring on employee and retiree satisfaction in UC-sponsored medical plans.

A survey completed by more than 8,100 employees and retirees in UC-sponsored non-Medicare plans found the following percentages of enrollees satisfied with their overall health plans:

  • Blue Shield Health Savings Plan — 73 percent
  • Health Net Blue & Gold — 84 percent
  • Kaiser Permanente — 94 percent
  • UC Care — 78 percent
  • Western Health Advantage — 93 percent

The survey looked at enrollees’ satisfaction with their health care, specialist experience, getting needed care, customer service and prescription drug plans.

A separate survey of 2,400 retirees in UC-sponsored Medicare plans found the following overall rates of satisfaction in 2015:

  • Health Net Seniority Plus — 91 percent
  • Kaiser Senior Advantage — 95 percent
  • Medicare PPO and High Option plans — 91 percent

The national average for overall satisfaction with Medicare health plans is 88 percent, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, making UC retirees on Medicare more satisfied than average.

UC also asked questions about dental coverage and Optum Behavioral Health Services.

Survey responses on dental care showed an overall satisfaction rate of 96 percent for the Delta Dental PPO and 92 percent for DeltaCare USA.

Other survey data showed an overall satisfaction rate of 87 percent for Optum Behavioral Health Services.

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