Insurance Update
June 2013
Issue No. 35      
In This Issue
Your head: an owner's manual
Men: stay healthy at any age
Smartphone-enabled Web tool from BCBSIL
Long-Term Care Insurance

Mental health issues can affect us all, but men's experiences of depression, anxiety, and stress may need specialized attention. Read the guide below to learn more about how men can better cope with difficult emotions.



About Us 

Insurance logo 

 A not-for-profit ministry of
Church of the Brethren Benefit Trust Inc.

Church of the Brethren Insurance Services provides ancillary coverage for ministers and other employees of congregations, districts, and camps.
Medical and ancillary plans are available to Brethren-affiliated employer groups.
Long-Term Care Insurance is available for all members of the Church of the Brethren, their family and friends, and employees of Church of the Brethren-affiliated agencies, organizations, colleges, and retirement communities.  
Contact Us 
1505 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120



Spring is in the air, with summer following close behind it! We wish you a safe and happy transition to summer.


June is Men's Health Month -- a time to encourage males everywhere to check in and get checked up at the doctor. On the left side of this newsletter, you will see a guide to understanding and overcoming depression and anxiety for men, because men and women can sometimes handle mental health concerns differently. And below this note, you'll find a great summary of the major health concerns men need to be aware of. Talking about this information with your doctor at your annual checkup will help him or her better assess your mental health needs.


Also in this newsletter you'll find information that can help you access your health information anywhere your smartphone is -- Brethren Insurance Services, through its partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, offers a handy app that lets you find a doctor nearby, and its smartphone-enabled website can help you easily track your medical history. Read on to learn more. 


Are you headed to Church of the Brethren Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C.? Brethren Insurance Services is! Stop by the BBT booth when it's open from June 29 to July 3. Chat with staff, read stories about members like you who have been impacted by the work of BBT, and take a survey that can help BBT better serve you. We hope to see you there!


Blessings for a fun-filled summer. Thank you for continuing to rely on us for your health care needs.


SignaturesScott, Tammy, and Connie       

Men: stay healthy at any age menhealth 

Establishing and maintaining good health is an ongoing process that men need to take charge of. It is important that men (or the men in your life) are proactive in managing their health to avoid preventable illnesses and catch other medical conditions early. 


Get the screenings you need

Screenings are tests that look for diseases before you have symptoms. Examples include blood pressure checks and tests for high cholesterol. Some screenings, such as blood pressure readings, are available in your doctor's office. Others, such as a colonoscopy, will require you to visit a specialist or hospital.


After a screening, ask when you will see results and who you should talk to about them. Here are common screenings you should get --


Abdominal aortic aneurysm

If you are between the ages of 65 and 75 and have ever been a smoker, talk to your doctor or nurse about being screened for abdominal aortic aneurysm. AAA is a bulging in your abdominal aorta, the largest artery in your body. An AAA may burst, which can cause dangerous bleeding and death. It is often caused by a history of smoking.

Colorectal cancer

Have a screening test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50 (or earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer). Several different tests can detect this cancer. Talk to your doctor to decide which is best for you.


Your emotional health is as important as your physical health. Talk to your doctor or nurse about being screened for depression, particularly if recently --     
  • You have felt down, sad, or hopeless.
  • You have had little interest or pleasure in doing things you once enjoyed.


Get screened for diabetes if your blood glucose levels are elevated, your blood pressure is higher than 135/80, or if you take medication for high blood pressure. Diabetes (high blood sugar) can cause problems with your heart, brain, eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and other body parts.


High blood pressure
Starting at age 18, have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. High blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, and can cause strokes, heart attacks, kidney and eye problems, and heart failure. 


High cholesterol

If you are 35 or older, have your cholesterol checked. Have it checked starting at age 20 if --       

  • You use tobacco.
  • You are obese.
  • You have diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • You have a personal history of heart attack or blocked arteries.
  • A man in your family had a heart attack before age 50, or a woman has had a heart attack before age 60.

Weight issues and obesity. The best way to learn if you are overweight or obese is to find your body mass index. You can find your BMI by entering your height and weight into a BMI calculator, such as the one available at  


Take preventive medicines if you need them 


If you are 45 or older, ask your doctor if you should take aspirin to prevent heart attacks.


  • Get a flu shot every year.
  • If you are 65 or older, get a pneumonia shot.
  • Depending on your health conditions, you may need a pneumonia shot at a younger age or need shots to prevent diseases like whooping cough or shingles.
  • Talk with your doctor or nurse about whether you need vaccinations. You can also find which ones you need at

Take steps to good health

  • Be physically active and make healthy food choices. Learn how at
  • Get to a healthy weight and stay there. Balance the calories you take in from food and drink with the calories you burn off by your activities.
  • Be tobacco-free. For tips on how to quit, go to To talk to someone about how to quit, call the National Quitline: 800-QUITNOW (784-8669).

You know your body better than anyone else. Always tell your doctor or nurse about changes in your health, including your vision and hearing. Ask them about being checked for any condition you are concerned about (such as prostate or skin cancer), not just the ones listed here.


Source: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Smartphone-enabled web tool and app lets you access your account and find a doctor wherever, whenever smartphone

Blue Access Mobile web is a mobile-optimized website that gives  you quick and secure access to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois' most in-demand information and tools on the go. You can use any web-enabled mobile device -- including mobile phones and smartphones -- to connect to BCBSIL's mobile site. Just visit from your phone's browser.

  • Log in to view coverage details, health and wellness information, check claims status, and access ID card info.
  • Find a doctor or hospital.
  • Contact BCBSIL.

Is it free to use Blue Access for mobile web?

Yes. There is no charge to use Blue Access Mobile web. However, it is always best to contact your wireless service provider to see if they charge any connectivity or internet usage fees.


Find Doctors app helps you locate a health professional nearby
Find Doctors is a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois-integrated application that you can download for free to quickly and easily locate in-network doctors and hospitals. With the Find Doctors App, you can find a network doctor or hospital by name or specialty, or find the nearest urgent care facility by using your mobile phone's GPS location or inputting a ZIP code.


Current and prospective members will need to search for BCBSIL in the iPhone App Store or Android Market to download the free app to your smartphone. 

 Long-Term Care InsuranceLTCI

It's been said that fortune favors the young. Well, long-term care insurance premiums favor younger policyholders as well. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance reports that, using the same daily benefit, benefit period, elimination period, and total pool of money criteria, a 40-year-old couple will pay a combined monthly premium of $83, while a couple at 60 years old will pay nearly double that monthly premium: $162.


Planning ahead for your medical future could save you in the long run. If you are interested in obtaining this coverage, contact Brethren Insurance Services at or 800-746-1505 for a free, no-obligation proposal or click here to request more information