PEBTF The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund (PEBTF) administers health care benefits to eligible Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees, retirees and their dependents.

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01/04/2022
12/27/2021
12/24/2021
12/21/2021
12/17/2021

All PEBTF and REHP members will receive a new medical ID card for 2022. Please provide your new card to your provider on or after January 1.

7 Surprisingly germy surfacesBy now, we all know to wash our hands for 20 seconds and apply hand sanitizer to protect ou...
12/09/2021

7 Surprisingly germy surfaces

By now, we all know to wash our hands for 20 seconds and apply hand sanitizer to protect ourselves from germs.
But even after you disinfect your digits, touching some of these filthy familiar items can undo that diligent cleansing. Given the fact that we touch our faces on average 23 times an hour, new germs can get transferred from your fingers and hands to your eyes, mouth and nose – and make you sick.

Ready to be creeped out? Here’s a list of everyday items you’ll want to keep squeaky clean.

1. Your cell phone
Would you put your face up against a toilet bowl? That’s basically what you’re doing when you make a call. Because research shows your cell phone is 10 times dirtier than the seat! So use a headset or go hands-free. And keep that puppy clean. Wiping the phone with a microfiber cloth removes most germs. For a deeper clean, mix 3 parts water to 2 parts rubbing alcohol. Dampen a cloth with the solution, then wipe down the entire phone.

2. Restaurant menus
Just think how many hands have opened that menu before you. Studies show that E. coli and staph are often present on the surface – especially on the plastic ones. So make sure to wash your hands after ordering or rub with sanitizer before you eat.

3. The kitchen sponge
According to the National Sanitation Foundation, more than 75% of dish sponges have Salmonella, E. coli and f***l matter. To kill bacteria, heat damp sponges in the microwave for a minute, or soak them in a quart of warm water with ½ tsp. concentrated bleach. And, just like you replace your toothbrush, get a new sponge every week or two.

4. Bathroom towels
Towels that hang in dark, damp bathrooms – near the toilet! – offer prime real estate for bacteria growth. One study showed that 90% were contaminated after a few days of use. Wash towels in hot water about every two days. And since regular detergent won’t kill all bacteria, use one that contains activated oxygen bleach.

5. Microwave handle
Almost 50% of microwave handles have such high bacteria levels, they’re considered high risk for spreading illnesses. Spray the door, handle and touch pad with glass cleaner and wipe dry with a paper towel. Or rub surfaces down with a disinfecting wipe.

6. Makeup applicators
Every time you touch your mascara wand, blush brush or eyeshadow sponge, they pick up germs from your hands. Swiping dirty tools near your eyes, nose and mouth can lead to breakouts, pink eye and fungal infections. So wash beauty tools after every use. Squeeze out sponges with bar soap and hot water, and wash brushes with gentle dish soap or baby shampoo.

7. Inside the washer
Warm, wet laundry that’s not promptly thrown in the dryer can start to get germy. If your clothes sit for more than 30 minutes, wash them a second time. And when it comes to water temperature, the hotter the better to kill bacteria and viruses. Heading to the laundromat? Wipe out the washer drum with a disinfecting wipe first.
Source: United Concordia

7 Surprisingly germy surfaces

By now, we all know to wash our hands for 20 seconds and apply hand sanitizer to protect ourselves from germs.
But even after you disinfect your digits, touching some of these filthy familiar items can undo that diligent cleansing. Given the fact that we touch our faces on average 23 times an hour, new germs can get transferred from your fingers and hands to your eyes, mouth and nose – and make you sick.

Ready to be creeped out? Here’s a list of everyday items you’ll want to keep squeaky clean.

1. Your cell phone
Would you put your face up against a toilet bowl? That’s basically what you’re doing when you make a call. Because research shows your cell phone is 10 times dirtier than the seat! So use a headset or go hands-free. And keep that puppy clean. Wiping the phone with a microfiber cloth removes most germs. For a deeper clean, mix 3 parts water to 2 parts rubbing alcohol. Dampen a cloth with the solution, then wipe down the entire phone.

2. Restaurant menus
Just think how many hands have opened that menu before you. Studies show that E. coli and staph are often present on the surface – especially on the plastic ones. So make sure to wash your hands after ordering or rub with sanitizer before you eat.

3. The kitchen sponge
According to the National Sanitation Foundation, more than 75% of dish sponges have Salmonella, E. coli and f***l matter. To kill bacteria, heat damp sponges in the microwave for a minute, or soak them in a quart of warm water with ½ tsp. concentrated bleach. And, just like you replace your toothbrush, get a new sponge every week or two.

4. Bathroom towels
Towels that hang in dark, damp bathrooms – near the toilet! – offer prime real estate for bacteria growth. One study showed that 90% were contaminated after a few days of use. Wash towels in hot water about every two days. And since regular detergent won’t kill all bacteria, use one that contains activated oxygen bleach.

5. Microwave handle
Almost 50% of microwave handles have such high bacteria levels, they’re considered high risk for spreading illnesses. Spray the door, handle and touch pad with glass cleaner and wipe dry with a paper towel. Or rub surfaces down with a disinfecting wipe.

6. Makeup applicators
Every time you touch your mascara wand, blush brush or eyeshadow sponge, they pick up germs from your hands. Swiping dirty tools near your eyes, nose and mouth can lead to breakouts, pink eye and fungal infections. So wash beauty tools after every use. Squeeze out sponges with bar soap and hot water, and wash brushes with gentle dish soap or baby shampoo.

7. Inside the washer
Warm, wet laundry that’s not promptly thrown in the dryer can start to get germy. If your clothes sit for more than 30 minutes, wash them a second time. And when it comes to water temperature, the hotter the better to kill bacteria and viruses. Heading to the laundromat? Wipe out the washer drum with a disinfecting wipe first.
Source: United Concordia

As we head into those chilly winter months, trying to stay healthy and avoid a cold or flu becomes a challenge. In fact,...
12/07/2021

As we head into those chilly winter months, trying to stay healthy and avoid a cold or flu becomes a challenge. In fact, adults get an average of two to three colds every year, and worse, recovery can take anywhere from seven to ten days.

A few other things you can do this season to stay healthy are:

• Wash your hands to reduce germ spread, as well respiratory illnesses by 16%-21%
• Stay home if you feel sick or have symptoms of a cold or flu (sneezing, runny nose, fever, sore throat)
• Eat healthy, reduce stress, and get adequate sleep
• Consider getting a flu vaccine, as the Centers for Disease Control says an annual flu vaccine is the best way for individuals to protect themselves from falling ill with a strain of influenza
• Brush your teeth twice and floss at least once daily to minimize bacteria in your mouth

Source: United Concordia

As we head into those chilly winter months, trying to stay healthy and avoid a cold or flu becomes a challenge. In fact, adults get an average of two to three colds every year, and worse, recovery can take anywhere from seven to ten days.

A few other things you can do this season to stay healthy are:

• Wash your hands to reduce germ spread, as well respiratory illnesses by 16%-21%
• Stay home if you feel sick or have symptoms of a cold or flu (sneezing, runny nose, fever, sore throat)
• Eat healthy, reduce stress, and get adequate sleep
• Consider getting a flu vaccine, as the Centers for Disease Control says an annual flu vaccine is the best way for individuals to protect themselves from falling ill with a strain of influenza
• Brush your teeth twice and floss at least once daily to minimize bacteria in your mouth

Source: United Concordia

ACT NOW! COMPLETE YOUR WELLNESS SCREENING BY DECEMBER 31 TO SAVE MONEY Time is running out to complete a Get Healthy Kno...
12/06/2021

ACT NOW!
COMPLETE YOUR WELLNESS SCREENING BY
DECEMBER 31 TO SAVE MONEY

Time is running out to complete a Get Healthy Know Your Numbers wellness screening and save money.

Please go to www.pebtf.org and click on the Get Healthy logo for detailed instructions to register for a screening.

ACT NOW!
COMPLETE YOUR WELLNESS SCREENING BY
DECEMBER 31 TO SAVE MONEY

Time is running out to complete a Get Healthy Know Your Numbers wellness screening and save money.

Please go to www.pebtf.org and click on the Get Healthy logo for detailed instructions to register for a screening.

December 1 – December 7 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. Between the pandemic and flu season, we all know the imp...
12/05/2021

December 1 – December 7 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. Between the pandemic and flu season, we all know the importance of handwashing and we have been doing it more often throughout the day.

Wash your hands:
• Before eating
• After touching garbage
• After using the bathroom
• After handling pet food or pet treats
• If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy
• Before and after treating a cut or wound
• Before, during, and after preparing food
• After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
• Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
• After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

Additionally, any time you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze, immediately clean your hands by either washing them with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol or more.

December 1 – December 7 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. Between the pandemic and flu season, we all know the importance of handwashing and we have been doing it more often throughout the day.

Wash your hands:
• Before eating
• After touching garbage
• After using the bathroom
• After handling pet food or pet treats
• If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy
• Before and after treating a cut or wound
• Before, during, and after preparing food
• After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
• Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick
• After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

Additionally, any time you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze, immediately clean your hands by either washing them with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol or more.

11/27/2021
11/25/2021
November is National Diabetes MonthActive members:  Did you complete your Get Healthy Know Your Numbers wellness screeni...
11/22/2021

November is National Diabetes Month

Active members: Did you complete your Get Healthy Know Your Numbers wellness screening yet?

Your wellness screening includes testing for blood glucose. The A1C test provides additional information on your diabetes risk, and this valuable information can help you know if you are at risk for developing diabetes.

November is National Diabetes Month

Active members: Did you complete your Get Healthy Know Your Numbers wellness screening yet?

Your wellness screening includes testing for blood glucose. The A1C test provides additional information on your diabetes risk, and this valuable information can help you know if you are at risk for developing diabetes.

11/19/2021
Great American Smokeout  is tomorrow, 11/18/2021
11/17/2021

Great American Smokeout is tomorrow, 11/18/2021

Great American Smokeout is tomorrow, 11/18/2021

Get ready for the Great American Smokeout on November 18. The Great American Smokeout is an annual event sponsored by th...
11/15/2021

Get ready for the Great American Smokeout on November 18.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS). We encourage you to quit to***co smoking on this day. Challenge yourself to stop smoking for at least 24 hours and you may even make a decision not to smoke longer than one day – hopefully forever.

Quit For Life can help you quit smoking.

Get ready for the Great American Smokeout on November 18.

The Great American Smokeout is an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS). We encourage you to quit to***co smoking on this day. Challenge yourself to stop smoking for at least 24 hours and you may even make a decision not to smoke longer than one day – hopefully forever.

Quit For Life can help you quit smoking.

People who have prediabetes have a 50% chance of developing diabetes over the next 5 to 10 years. This National #Diabete...
11/13/2021

People who have prediabetes have a 50% chance of developing diabetes over the next 5 to 10 years. This National #DiabetesMonth, learn how to prevent diabetes by managing or even reversing your prediabetes from the @National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month

People who have prediabetes have a 50% chance of developing diabetes over the next 5 to 10 years. This National #DiabetesMonth, learn how to prevent diabetes by managing or even reversing your prediabetes from the @National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month

November is National #DiabetesMonth! Prediabetes is a serious health condition affecting more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults. F...
11/12/2021

November is National #DiabetesMonth! Prediabetes is a serious health condition affecting more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults. Follow these tips from the @National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) about how to manage and even reverse your prediabetes:

• Start with small changes to your lifestyle.
• Move more.
• Consume healthier foods and drinks.
• Lose weight and keep it off.
• Seek health support from your doctor.
• Stay up to date on vaccinations.

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month

November is National #DiabetesMonth! Prediabetes is a serious health condition affecting more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults. Follow these tips from the @National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) about how to manage and even reverse your prediabetes:

• Start with small changes to your lifestyle.
• Move more.
• Consume healthier foods and drinks.
• Lose weight and keep it off.
• Seek health support from your doctor.
• Stay up to date on vaccinations.

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month

11/11/2021
11/02/2021
11/01/2021
10/29/2021
10/28/2021
Cut Back on Halloween CandyIt’s here – Halloween!!  We can all indulge a little, but remember to brush your teeth after ...
10/27/2021

Cut Back on Halloween Candy

It’s here – Halloween!! We can all indulge a little, but remember to brush your teeth after eating Halloween candy. With the enormous amount of candy given out at this time of year, consider giving your trick-or-treaters something different:
Organic juice boxes: Kids are thirsty and juice boxes travel well. They make for a smart treat to pass out to the children in your neighborhood.

Craft supplies: Consider handing out treats such as stickers, stamps, mini-coloring books, markers or anything else that allows kids some creative time. You can usually buy these items in bulk.

Hot cocoa packets: Who wouldn’t love to return home from a night of roaming the neighborhood to a cup of hot chocolate? For bonus points, glue googly eyes on the packets or dress them up like mummies with tissue paper.

Toothbrushes: You may not win over the children on this one, but parents will love you for it. Choose bright colors or character-themed toothbrushes.

If your kids bring home a bag of candy, try to monitor how much they eat and limit their daily consumption to a couple of pieces. Remember that hard candy and sticky staples like taffy and caramel expose the teeth to sugar for longer periods of time. Encouraging your child to drink water after they eat treats will help rinse away the sugar.

Source: United Concordia

Cut Back on Halloween Candy

It’s here – Halloween!! We can all indulge a little, but remember to brush your teeth after eating Halloween candy. With the enormous amount of candy given out at this time of year, consider giving your trick-or-treaters something different:
Organic juice boxes: Kids are thirsty and juice boxes travel well. They make for a smart treat to pass out to the children in your neighborhood.

Craft supplies: Consider handing out treats such as stickers, stamps, mini-coloring books, markers or anything else that allows kids some creative time. You can usually buy these items in bulk.

Hot cocoa packets: Who wouldn’t love to return home from a night of roaming the neighborhood to a cup of hot chocolate? For bonus points, glue googly eyes on the packets or dress them up like mummies with tissue paper.

Toothbrushes: You may not win over the children on this one, but parents will love you for it. Choose bright colors or character-themed toothbrushes.

If your kids bring home a bag of candy, try to monitor how much they eat and limit their daily consumption to a couple of pieces. Remember that hard candy and sticky staples like taffy and caramel expose the teeth to sugar for longer periods of time. Encouraging your child to drink water after they eat treats will help rinse away the sugar.

Source: United Concordia

10/26/2021
10/25/2021
Halloween Candy Boos and Don’tIt’s spooky how much sugar kids consume during this annual candy free-for-all.  According ...
10/23/2021

Halloween Candy Boos and Don’t

It’s spooky how much sugar kids consume during this annual candy free-for-all. According to Reader’s Digest, the average trick-or-treater eats about 7,000 calories. That’s equal to almost three cups of sugar. What’s even scarier? Many candies can harm your child’s teeth in ways beyond the excess sugar. Sour candies are acidic, which can wear away the outer tooth enamel. And chewy, sticky candies can dislodge braces and other orthodontic devices. Of course, you’ll make sure they brush and floss after gobbling up their goodies.

Here's how the candies rates:
Best: Sugar-free candy
Better: Dark chocolate
Okay: Powdery candy like sugar straws
Bad: Sour candy
Really Bad: Hard candy
Worst: Chew candies like candy corn, gummy woms and taffy

Source: United Concordia

Halloween Candy Boos and Don’t

It’s spooky how much sugar kids consume during this annual candy free-for-all. According to Reader’s Digest, the average trick-or-treater eats about 7,000 calories. That’s equal to almost three cups of sugar. What’s even scarier? Many candies can harm your child’s teeth in ways beyond the excess sugar. Sour candies are acidic, which can wear away the outer tooth enamel. And chewy, sticky candies can dislodge braces and other orthodontic devices. Of course, you’ll make sure they brush and floss after gobbling up their goodies.

Here's how the candies rates:
Best: Sugar-free candy
Better: Dark chocolate
Okay: Powdery candy like sugar straws
Bad: Sour candy
Really Bad: Hard candy
Worst: Chew candies like candy corn, gummy woms and taffy

Source: United Concordia

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All PEBTF and REHP members will receive a new medical ID card for 2022. Please provide your new card to your provider on or after January 1.
7 Surprisingly germy surfaces By now, we all know to wash our hands for 20 seconds and apply hand sanitizer to protect ourselves from germs. But even after you disinfect your digits, touching some of these filthy familiar items can undo that diligent cleansing. Given the fact that we touch our faces on average 23 times an hour, new germs can get transferred from your fingers and hands to your eyes, mouth and nose – and make you sick. Ready to be creeped out? Here’s a list of everyday items you’ll want to keep squeaky clean. 1. Your cell phone Would you put your face up against a toilet bowl? That’s basically what you’re doing when you make a call. Because research shows your cell phone is 10 times dirtier than the seat! So use a headset or go hands-free. And keep that puppy clean. Wiping the phone with a microfiber cloth removes most germs. For a deeper clean, mix 3 parts water to 2 parts rubbing alcohol. Dampen a cloth with the solution, then wipe down the entire phone. 2. Restaurant menus Just think how many hands have opened that menu before you. Studies show that E. coli and staph are often present on the surface – especially on the plastic ones. So make sure to wash your hands after ordering or rub with sanitizer before you eat. 3. The kitchen sponge According to the National Sanitation Foundation, more than 75% of dish sponges have Salmonella, E. coli and f***l matter. To kill bacteria, heat damp sponges in the microwave for a minute, or soak them in a quart of warm water with ½ tsp. concentrated bleach. And, just like you replace your toothbrush, get a new sponge every week or two. 4. Bathroom towels Towels that hang in dark, damp bathrooms – near the toilet! – offer prime real estate for bacteria growth. One study showed that 90% were contaminated after a few days of use. Wash towels in hot water about every two days. And since regular detergent won’t kill all bacteria, use one that contains activated oxygen bleach. 5. Microwave handle Almost 50% of microwave handles have such high bacteria levels, they’re considered high risk for spreading illnesses. Spray the door, handle and touch pad with glass cleaner and wipe dry with a paper towel. Or rub surfaces down with a disinfecting wipe. 6. Makeup applicators Every time you touch your mascara wand, blush brush or eyeshadow sponge, they pick up germs from your hands. Swiping dirty tools near your eyes, nose and mouth can lead to breakouts, pink eye and fungal infections. So wash beauty tools after every use. Squeeze out sponges with bar soap and hot water, and wash brushes with gentle dish soap or baby shampoo. 7. Inside the washer Warm, wet laundry that’s not promptly thrown in the dryer can start to get germy. If your clothes sit for more than 30 minutes, wash them a second time. And when it comes to water temperature, the hotter the better to kill bacteria and viruses. Heading to the laundromat? Wipe out the washer drum with a disinfecting wipe first. Source: United Concordia
As we head into those chilly winter months, trying to stay healthy and avoid a cold or flu becomes a challenge. In fact, adults get an average of two to three colds every year, and worse, recovery can take anywhere from seven to ten days. A few other things you can do this season to stay healthy are: • Wash your hands to reduce germ spread, as well respiratory illnesses by 16%-21% • Stay home if you feel sick or have symptoms of a cold or flu (sneezing, runny nose, fever, sore throat) • Eat healthy, reduce stress, and get adequate sleep • Consider getting a flu vaccine, as the Centers for Disease Control says an annual flu vaccine is the best way for individuals to protect themselves from falling ill with a strain of influenza • Brush your teeth twice and floss at least once daily to minimize bacteria in your mouth Source: United Concordia
ACT NOW! COMPLETE YOUR WELLNESS SCREENING BY DECEMBER 31 TO SAVE MONEY Time is running out to complete a Get Healthy Know Your Numbers wellness screening and save money. Please go to www.pebtf.org and click on the Get Healthy logo for detailed instructions to register for a screening.
December 1 – December 7 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. Between the pandemic and flu season, we all know the importance of handwashing and we have been doing it more often throughout the day. Wash your hands: • Before eating • After touching garbage • After using the bathroom • After handling pet food or pet treats • If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy • Before and after treating a cut or wound • Before, during, and after preparing food • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet Additionally, any time you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze, immediately clean your hands by either washing them with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol or more.
November is National Diabetes Month Active members: Did you complete your Get Healthy Know Your Numbers wellness screening yet? Your wellness screening includes testing for blood glucose. The A1C test provides additional information on your diabetes risk, and this valuable information can help you know if you are at risk for developing diabetes.
Great American Smokeout is tomorrow, 11/18/2021
Get ready for the Great American Smokeout on November 18. The Great American Smokeout is an annual event sponsored by the American Cancer Society (ACS). We encourage you to quit to***co smoking on this day. Challenge yourself to stop smoking for at least 24 hours and you may even make a decision not to smoke longer than one day – hopefully forever. Quit For Life can help you quit smoking.
People who have prediabetes have a 50% chance of developing diabetes over the next 5 to 10 years. This National #DiabetesMonth, learn how to prevent diabetes by managing or even reversing your prediabetes from the @National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-diabetes-month