New Mexico Health Connections | my connection | Fall 2019

2 { MYCONNECTION } Invaluable peace of mind Marianne Bjelke has been an NMHC member since 2015. She has been happy with her coverage for practical and personal reasons. The premiums and copayments were reasonable, which was essential for a single mother. Her family’s medications were covered. And she supported our mission and vision: to be a nonprofit, consumer-operated and -oriented health plan dedicated to improving the health of New Mexicans. But she found a new reason to be grateful for her health plan when her child started having trouble at school. Affordable coverage When her son, Quinn, began to have a hard time focusing and learning in kindergarten, Bjelke understood just how important comprehensive healthcare coverage was. “Quinn was diagnosed with significant hearing loss,” she says. “We learned he was hearing at about 60% of the normal level. At home, it wasn’t as noticeable because it’s fairly quiet and there isn’t a lot of environmental noise, but it was very different in the classroom.” Fortunately, NMHC covered pediatric hearing aids. “The difference was night and day,” Bjelke says. “His face lit up when he first tried them on.” NMHC provided Quinn with what he needed to thrive in school, and his mother’s cost-share was affordable. “I love my insurance company. The thought of switching never entered my mind,” says Bjelke. “Commitment to the members is more than a motto for NMHC; it’s the culture across all levels of the organization.” { M E M B E R B E N E F I T S } NMHC has a diabetes disease management program that can help if you have questions, need to develop a care plan or need assistance understanding your medication options. Learn more at -management-services.aspx . W hen it comes to diabetes, there’s more to staying healthy than managing your blood sugar. You also need to know the ABCs of diabetes. Here’s a quick look at what these letters stand for and why they matter to your health: Know the ABCs of diabetes Talk to your doctor Ask your doctor about when to have A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol tests. There are target levels for each that you should aim for to help lower your risk of diabetes-related com- plications. Ask your doctor what those targets should be for you and how to reach them with healthy lifestyle changes, medicine or both. Sources: American Diabetes Association; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases “A” is for A1C blood test. Your A1C number reveals your average blood sugar level for the past three months. It mat- ters because over time, high blood sugar can damage your body and open the door to a lengthy list of complications. Your A1C number shows you how well your treatment is working to help prevent this from happening. A “B” is for blood pressure check. When blood pres- sure climbs, so does your risk for heart disease, stroke and more. To make matters worse, you’re more likely to have high blood pressure when you have diabetes. But you won’t know what’s up unless you get your blood pressure checked. “C” is for cholesterol test. A high level of blood choles- terol can clog your arteries. As with high blood pressure, your doctor can help you lower high cholesterol to help prevent its serious con- sequences, including heart attack and stroke. That’s why it’s important to know if your cholesterol levels are in a healthy range. CB