Insurance Update
July 2013
Issue No. 36       
In This Issue
Traffic Safety Facts
Help your garden grow while helping your health
Get active outside
Long-Term Care Insurance
A helmet is the single most effective way to prevent head injury resulting from a bicycle crash. 



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



Instead of reading this email, you should be outside enjoying the beauty of the season. It's summer! Do you need some ideas on how to make the most of this warm weather? Read this month's issue of Insurance Update to see how gardening, cycling, and a whole host of other activities can help you make health-conscious choices all summer long.


Of course, even though it's summer, there's still business to be had. One important piece of business on the horizon is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care overhaul that is gradually being rolled out. You might have some questions about how this major initiative will affect you. Fortunately, Blue Cross Blue Shield has put together a Web app called AskBlue Healthcare Reform that will walk you through the ways your health care experience might be impacted by PPACA. Click here to check out this helpful tool. 


Have a safe and sun-filled summer.


SignaturesScott, Tammy, and Connie 


Help your garden grow while helping your healthgarden

Gardening can be a great way to enjoy physical activity, beautify the community, and go green. However, it is important to protect yourself and take precautions as you work and play in the sun and around insects, chemicals, and lawn and garden equipment.


Whether you are a beginner or expert, remember these health and safety tips for gardeners, and enjoy the beauty and bounty gardening can bring --



Dress to protect.

  • Prevent exposure to harmful chemicals, insects, and the sun by wearing proper clothing and safety equipment.
  • Use an insect repellant and sunscreen with sun protective factor 15 or higher, and both ultraviolet A- and B-ray protection.
  • Remember that the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daylight savings time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time) are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental U.S.
  • Always check your clothes and body for ticks.
  • Wear a hat with a wide rim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear a protective nose and mouth mask, or even sunglasses or protective eyewear, while doing yard work to avoid flying debris and minimize the triggers that cause allergy and asthma complications.

Know your limits in the heat.

  • Even being out for short periods of time in high temperatures can cause serious health problems.
  • Monitor your activities and time in the sun to lower your risk for heat-related illnesses.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully -- pace yourself and use common sense.

Stay hydrated.

  • If you're outside in hot weather for most of the day, you'll need to make an effort to drink more fluids.
  • Stay away from caffeinated and carbonated beverages as well as drinks with a high amount of sugar.
  • Whatever your outdoor activity, have water on hand to decrease the chance of dehydration.


Put safety first. 

  • Be aware of possible hazards to prevent injury.
  • Read all instructions and labels before using chemicals and operating equipment.
  • Check equipment before each use.
  • Limit distractions while using equipment.

Enjoy the benefits of physical activity.

  • Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon or breast cancer, and premature death.
  • Adults should get at least 2 hours per week of moderate intensity physical activity.

People with disabilities and physical activity.

  • Engage in regular physical activity based on abilities and avoid inactivity.
  • Adults with disabilities should consult their health care provider about the amounts and types of physical activity that are appropriate for their abilities.
  • Physical activity can reduce pain and improve function, mood, and quality of life for adults with arthritis.

Get vaccinated.

  • Vaccinations can prevent many diseases and save lives.
  • Remember that the bacteria that cause tetanus are found in soil; all adults should get a tetanus vaccination every 10 years.

Go green.

  • Conserve water, reuse containers, recycle, and share your bounty.
  • Eye-catching gardens and landscapes that save water, prevent pollution, and protect the environment can be achieved.

Keep your yard clear.

  • Remove any items that may collect standing water, such as buckets, old tires, and toys. Mosquitoes can breed in them within days.
  • Clearing trees and brush in your yard can reduce the likelihood that deer, rodents, and ticks will live there.

Provided by the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

 Get active outsideactive


Getting the recommended amount of physical activity every day doesn't have to be a chore. An easy way to make activity fun for the whole family is playing outside. Getting outdoors is a great way for your family to enjoy developing an active lifestyle.


Why outside? 

Why not? Regular exercise in nature has been proven to improve children's mental and physical health. Outdoor activity also helps kids -- and adults -- maintain a healthy weight, boost immunity, and lower stress.

Where to go 

There are many different places you can go to get active outside. You can stay as close as your back yard or take a short trip across your state. Visit a local park, playground, or recreation area, or check out a state or national park. Not sure where to find one in your area? The Let's Move! initiative's website provides links for places to go --


What to do
It's easy to find affordable activities that will help bring your family together as you enjoy the outdoors.


Travel by foot. From walking around the block to hiking up a mountain, there are many new places to explore on foot. Hiking and walking have been shown to improve cardiovascular health and even help you lose weight if you walk regularly.


Ride your bike. Riding a bike helps improve balance and endurance. Biking is a fun, family-friendly activity that you can all use to stay healthy and get places faster.



Go swimming. This low-impact activity burns more calories per hour than almost any other activity, and has been shown to improve strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. 


What to bring
If you're spending more than an hour or two at your activity, make sure you bring these essentials to keep it safe and fun --

  • Drinking water to stay hydrated
  • Healthy snacks like nuts and carrot sticks
  • Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses to protect from the sun's ultraviolet rays
  • Rain gear
  • Extra layers in case it gets chilly
  • Backpack to carry everything
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 Long-Term Care InsuranceLTCI

How much custodial care might you need in your later years? The average lifetime nursing home use per individual is one year, and the average home care use is a little over 200 visits. Those costs can add up in a short time, though -- and who's to say your experience will be average? Consider the benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance today.


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