DJL Blog Holiday Conversations

Discuss Health with Loved Ones During Holidays

Traditionally, the holiday season brings family and friends together in groups large and small.

The COVID-19 pandemic — and the recent surge of cases — will make it difficult to enjoy festivities as we’d wish this year. During this critical time, it’s important to follow the latest recommendations of health and government officials to keep us all safe, reduce the spread of the coronavirus and avoid overwhelming our hospitals and health care providers.

As we find new ways to celebrate and connect, I encourage everyone to engage in a deeper conversation with those you love about their physical and mental health.

One of the most important things to discuss is whether your family members and friends have a primary care doctor. A primary care doctor is your first line of defense when it comes to health care. They are critical in keeping track of your preventive care needs, understanding your family history and providing routine check-ups. They also help coordinate any specialty care you need.

This year, the need for mental health care has increased greatly during the pandemic. Many are struggling due to the death of a loved one, job loss, increased stress, social isolation, as well as social and racial inequities, including access to health care and unconscious bias. If you notice warning signs that a family member is struggling, know there are resources available to get them the help they need.

Quality, affordable plans

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is proud to offer health care options to meet every need and help members make the best health plan choices. The 2021 Medicare annual enrollment runs through Dec. 7 and the annual enrollment period for the individual marketplace ends Dec. 15.

Here is how your family, friends and neighbors can find assistance:

  • A dedicated Medicare customer assistance line for those 65 or older at 1-855-339-9235 (TTY:711) is available for friends and family members.
  • Our Medicare Advantage website features our product options.
  • Access to Health Plan Advisors for the individual marketplace is available to help individuals under 65 choose the right plan, calculate costs and find out about eligibility for subsidies at 1-888-899-2968.
  • All our individual plan options are online at bcbsm.com/myblue. Individual members can choose from 29 plan options in the state across Gold, Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic levels. Blue Cross Preferred HMO Bronze plan has been added to the portfolio; it is designed to offer comprehensive coverage for primary care services at affordable rates.

Encourage your family members to prioritize their health, especially during these uncertain times. I wish you and your families a safe, happy and healthy holiday season, and hope for a bright New Year.

Daniel J. Loepp is president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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