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5 places to find spring in North Carolina

Hiking expert Joe Miller knows where to find the first signs of spring. Here are 5 hiking trails in North Carolina to find budding wildflowers and enjoy some time outdoors.

Real men go to therapy: know the signs of depression in men

Many men face additional stigma around mental health, making them less likely than women to get help. But support is out there. Read one man’s story of how he overcame fear and social stigma around therapy – and how it paid off in spades.

We can’t ignore racism in healthcare

When we talk about racism, some people say, “You’re an insurance company. What does race have to do with anything?” The answer is: a lot. Learn more about what race has to do with health and healthcare–and what we’re doing to fight health inequities.

How Specialty Pharmacies Provide an Extra Level of Care to Help Manage Your Condition

One of the biggest challenges of managing chronic illness is accessing affordable, quality care and medicines. Learn more about what specialty pharmacies do and how they help care for patients with chronic conditions.

A cancer screening during COVID-19 may have saved our member’s life

Our member, Laura, was diagnosed with breast cancer during the covid-19 pandemic thanks to a routine screening. Now she’s celebrating her completion of chemotherapy and looking forward to regaining her strength.

ACA Opens Special Enrollment Period in Response to COVID-19: What You Need to Know

The Biden administration has opened a special enrollment period, allowing you to pick a health plan or switch your plan through May 15, 2021. Here’s what you need to know.

Do you know the signs of a heart emergency?

Do you know the signs of heart attack and stroke? The signs of a heart emergency are different in men and women. This Heart Health Month, learn the signs and get tips on taking care of your heart health.

To Overcome Black Resistance to Vaccines, We All Need to Understand It

While doubts about the safety and efficacy of the new vaccines are largely unfounded, among people of color these fears are the result of systemic inequities that are very real.

How childhood trauma affects adult health (and what you can do about it)

People who had difficult childhoods are at higher risk for many health complications later in life, including cancer and major depression. Thankfully, there are several ways to fight back.

COVID-19 changed health care. But will the changes outlast the pandemic?

Telehealth visits exploded in the early months of the pandemic, increasing by more than 7,500%. Clearly, the way we provide care to patients has changed. But will this change outlast the pandemic?

How to stay healthy and fit during the winter

Don’t let cold weather get in the way of exercising this winter. Certified personal trainer Michelle Rogers shares tons of creative ideas for both indoor and outdoor exercise, as well as ways to stay safe in the cold.

5 ‘must-do’ North Carolina hikes for 2021

Hiking expert Joe Miller of Get Going NC shares his top five “must do” hikes for 2021. Check them off your bucket list, and let us know how they support your mental and physical health!

Struggle, Progress and Strength: Recognizing Black History Month at Blue Cross NC

For Blue Cross NC, this Black History Month comes less than a year after we’ve welcomed Dr. Tunde Sotunde, the first Black CEO and president in our company’s 88-year history. It’s a moment for reflection on the “struggling and striving” we’ve seen.

Top 5 Misconceptions About Type 2 Diabetes Reversal

Despite the myth that type 2 diabetes is a life-long disease with little hope for recovery, reversal is possible. You can reverse your diabetes with personalized nutrition and consistent support.

Why I chose to get the covid-19 vaccine: one army doctor speaks out

One doctor tells us why he decided to get the covid-19 vaccine, whether he had concerns about his decision, how he felt after his first dose, and what this family thought about it.

3 tips for coping with chronic illness

Knowing how to cope with chronic illness can be difficult. If you struggle with a medical condition, here are three tips to help you manage your illness and maintain your quality of life.

A fourth grader needed help. One Blue Cross NC employee stepped up.

Blue Cross NC employee Mike Restaino is passionate about helping North Carolinians lead healthier lives. In his free time, he helps fourth grader Zaquan navigate virtual learning to help set him up for a bright future.

Get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines: five rumors debunked

Get the COVID vaccine when your turn comes up. It’s effective, safe, and our best chance to beat COVID-19.

Resolution reset: 5 ways to get back on track with your fitness and healthy living goals

Certified personal trainer Michelle Rogers tells us why most New Year’s resolutions fail and how you can find success with your fitness goals in 2021.

“I was desperate for a way to help my brother”

When the pandemic hit, experts advised us to stay home. But what happens to people whose homes aren’t safe? Kathy shares the story of her brother David, whose home was not suitable to live and recover in after he suffered an aortic aneurism, and the organization that helped.

You tried hiking in 2020. Here’s how to keep going.

If you tried hiking in 2020 and want to continue it in the new year, here are a few tips for beginners about North Carolina trails to try and gear to have on hand.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Our Work Doesn’t Stop!

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we can’t fulfill our mission to improve the health and well-being of our customers and communities without explicitly addressing disparities and health inequities.

2020 in Review: A Year of Heartbreak and Heroism

2020 was heartbreaking, but it also brought out the best in so many people. During one of the most serious public health crises in a century, health care professionals rose to the challenge.

The 4 basics your HR staff should know for creating employee health empowerment

An unhealthy workforce can lead to an ailing company. Here are a few tips to help your employees make informed choices about their health and health care.

Your step-by-step, no-fail system for getting fit and healthy in 2021

New Year’s resolutions look different this year with the COVID-19 pandemic. But getting fit is still possible and can help you feel great.

“Teachers are standing on the front line with a smile”

With financial support, this childcare center was able to continue to pay its teachers and meet enhanced health and safety standards to keep children and employees safe.

“Cuando esto se complique, ¿qué voy a hacer?”

Camila recuerda claramente el día en que su marido dio positivo en el test de COVID-19. 

“When this gets complicated, what am I going to do?”

Camila shares her story of getting COVID-19, along with her husband, and struggling to care for their four children at a distance. She also shares about the local program that helped her fully recover.

“We knew the pandemic was coming.”

With support from Blue Cross NC, Dr. Behnam Pourdeyhimi of NC State turned from professor to manufacturer, producing materials for masks for frontline healthcare workers. Here is his story.

“Seeing my husband in PPE from head to toe brings tears to my eyes.”

After surviving triple bypass surgery and 40 weeks of radiation treatment for cancer, Chris’s husband was faced with keeping their family primary care practice afloat during COVID-19. Chris shares their story.

“Life feels like the movie Groundhog Day.”

Dr. John Scheitler, a primary care doctor in Gastonia, North Carolina, shares what it feels like to continue treating patients during the pandemic and how his clinic has stayed afloat.

“A friendly face makes such a difference in my quiet days”

Eighty-four-year-old Charles has been homebound and isolated since the pandemic hit in March. But Meals on Wheels has been a bright spot in a difficult time, bringing Charles meals and a friend to talk to.

Find Your Joy – Or Create It: Connection in the time of COVID

Social isolation is getting old–and taking its toll on our mental health. Here are some ideas for how to find some light in the darkness and connect with others safely during the pandemic.

Former shelter resident shares her story of hope

Blue Cross NC is investing in The Shepherd’s House to provide a safe place for people struggling with substance use disorders and homelessness.

How Blue Cross NC is Reshaping Behavioral Health Care in NC

Blue Cross NC is in its second year of a long-term strategy to improve behavioral health access, quality and efficiency by focusing on whole-person care.

Healthy Eating with Type 2 Diabetes

Eating healthy, balanced meals is an important part of controlling type 2 diabetes, just like exercising and taking medications as your doctor recommends. Here are some tips.

4 Healthy Holiday Hacks

Try these simple strategies to help you stay happy, healthy and strong and still enjoy holiday treats.

Spending the holidays alone? Three tips to take care of your mental health

Spending the holidays alone because of COVID-19? Here are three tips to support your mental health while keeping your loved ones safe.

Clinic Provides Health Care to Uninsured

Through an investment in Alliance Medical Ministry, Blue Cross NC helps uninsured people–some of the hardest hit by Covid-19–receive the care they need.

Prepare Now For the Dual Hit of Flu and COVID-19

With winter on its way, North Carolina could be getting a one-two punch from the flu and a new wave of COVID-19. Start protecting yourself by getting your flu shot.

North Carolinians come together to feed their communities

Throughout the pandemic, ASAP has helped North Carolina’s farms continue to thrive and bring fresh produce to local communities, all while supporting NC’s economy.

7 creative ways to celebrate the holidays safely during COVID-19

Our holiday season looks different this year because of COVID-19. Here are some creative ideas to celebrate while keeping yourself, your family and your community safe.

How to dress for cold weather hikes

For many of us, getting outdoors and into nature has been a saving grace during this pandemic. As winter approaches, you can still have outdoor adventures. Here are a few tips on how to dress for winter hikes.

American Indian Heritage Month & Healthy Blue

During Native American Heritage Month, learn about how Blue Cross NC is serving North Carolina’s Native communities through Medicaid transformation.

Ten holiday travelling tips to keep you safe from COVID-19

If you are considering traveling this holiday season, here are ten things to consider.

Using High-Tech and High-Touch to Simplify Health Care

Blue Cross NC is using technology and human interaction to help provide a simplified health care experience.

Drug Maker’s Guilty Pleas Won’t End the Opioid Crisis

The settlement with Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, is an important step forward in managing the nation’s opioid crisis. Learn more.

TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF ACA OPEN ENROLLMENT

A few steps to take to make sure your enrollment process goes smoothly this year.

When pandemic blues and seasonal depression collide

Along with an extended quarantine, this winter’s shorter days and low light could be especially challenging for some. Here are some tips on how to cope.

Pulling Back the Curtain on Health Care Costs

Managing medical costs starts with knowing what they are in the first place. We support the concept of cost transparency, and we’re leading the way in making it a reality for all North Carolinians.

New to hiking? Looking for new trails? Meet your virtual adventure guide.

If you’re new to hiking and need some expert tips, or if you’re just looking for lesser-known trails to try, get to know Joe Miller. He’s our expert on all things outdoors in North Carolina.

It’s not selfish to take care of yourself

Ladies – here’s an important message for us: It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. In fact, it is an act of love. A healthier, stronger, happier you is better able to care for those depending on you. As author Parker Palmer notes, “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of […]

What I wish I’d known starting out on my fitness journey

Certified personal trainer Michelle Rogers reflects on her personal fitness journey and how she changed her mindset to make sure her healthier lifestyle would stick.

Making health care simpler and more affordable starts with value

In order to make health care better, simpler and more affordable, the health care system needs to fundamentally change. This transformation starts with a move to value-based care.

HBCU investments open doors for limitless opportunities

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is not only in our words, but also our actions. We have long recognized the impact that HBCUs have on diversifying our workforce and industries.

Three questions to ask before picking a health insurance plan

Health insurance can be complicated. We’re here to help make it easier to understand. Here are three questions to ask yourself when shopping for an insurance plan.

Our Team Member’s Journey Back to Health After COVID-19

Blue Cross NC employee Renae Cates was diagnosed with COVID-19. Soon she was in a hospital room completely alone, just like on the news. Hear about her journey to recovery.

Data To Go: Health Records Should Be Accessed Like Bank Statements

As part of our efforts to transform health care, we’re working toward interoperability — allowing physicians to access patient data across practices, hospitals and platforms to paint a full picture of a patient’s health.

Three Things COVID-19 Has Confirmed About Health Care

The COVID-19 crisis is teaching us a lot about our health care system, and we will emerge from this crisis wiser for the experience. Blue Cross NC’s COO explains where we go from here.

Investing In Our Communities: Bettering Health, Lowering Costs

As a not-for-profit company, our goal is to change the course of health in this state. That means we must identify and address the challenges that prevent our neighbors from achieving the best health possible.

Fighting for Food Security with RAFI-USA

When COVID hit, many North Carolinians found themselves out of work. Grocery stores were emptied of fresh foods. Farmers struggled to stay afloat. Then one program stepped in to help.

Increase your energy and get fit with this 4-week walking plan

New to walking? No problem! This four-week walking plan will help you get fit, increase your energy, boost your mood, and prevent or improve other health issues.

College students were hit hard by COVID-19. Here’s how we’re supporting them.

Blue Cross NC recognizes the lifetime impact that education can have on North Carolinians’ health. That’s why we’re supporting college students amid COVID-19.

Fall hikes: how to avoid crowds and find the trails less traveled

The gorgeous fall weather is luring more North Carolinians outdoors to hike and camp. Here are some tips for finding and exploring less-crowded trails.

5 North Carolina Hikes to See Gorgeous Fall Foliage

These five hikes don’t get a lot of foot traffic, which is surprising considering the explosion of fall color they offer, and still get you a front seat view of fall foliage.

How to Manage OCD and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused an increase in anxiety in just about everyone. If you already struggle with anxiety or OCD, here are a few tips from Dr. Patrick McGrath.

Expanding Access to Treatment for Substance Use Disorders in North Carolina

Blue Cross NC is committed to combating the substance use disorder crisis in our state through community partners, new solutions and industry-leading approaches.

The Costs of Surprise Medical Billing

Providers deserve to be paid fairly to treat patients. But we can all agree that sending huge surprise bills or engaging in medical price-gouging isn’t right.

Tips to Care for Someone With COVID-19

Taking care of someone with COVID-19? These tips will help you reduce your exposure and know the signs and symptoms to track.

Supporting our Seniors Amid COVID-19

In the midst of COVID-19, many North Carolina seniors are facing social isolation and food insecurity. We partner with Meals on Wheels to deliver meals and smiles.

Addressing Disparities in Behavioral Health

At Blue Cross NC, we resolve to help close the gaps in behavioral health care. That means working hard to remove the barriers people face in getting mental health support.

No Flu For You: 5 Flu Shot Myths Debunked

It’s that time of year; flu season is upon us. That means flu shots. Maybe you’re ready to go and are rushing to Target because they’re offering discounts to shoppers who get the flu shot as an incentive. Great! You know the importance of getting the flu shot, not just for yourself but for your […]

What to do if you have symptoms of COVID-19

Experiencing flu-like symptoms like fever, body aches, chills, cough, nausea, chest pain, or trouble breathing? Here are some steps to take.

Virtual heart health training serves Latino communities

With support from Blue Cross NC, the American Heart Association is training Spanish-speaking ambassadors to bring heart health education to their communities across North Carolina.

Health Care in 2020: The Only Thing That’s Certain is Uncertainty

Blue Cross NC’s chief financial officer Mitch Perry talks lowering rates for members and looking toward the future of health care during the pandemic and beyond.

Our Continued Commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness

Blue Cross NC recognizes the importance of early breast cancer detection. That’s why we work with organizations that offer hope and support to patients.

A parent’s survival guide for at-home learning

A working mom of two shares her tips for managing your own mental health while supporting kids learning virtually in the home.

No time to work out? Try these easy ways to fit movement into your day

It’s okay if you don’t have an hour each day to exercise. Here are 11 some simple, doable ways you can fit in small bits of exercise throughout your day.

Supporting Latino Communities Through COVID-19

Latino communities are facing health disparities during COVID-19. So two Blue Cross NC partners stepped up to make sure their communities were not left behind.

Five Tips to Rock Your Virtual Interview

Putting your best foot forward virtually doesn’t have to be as stress-inducing when you’re prepared for the big day. To help ease your nerves, get ready for your video interview with these five tips

This Blue Cross NC employee challenges the status quo of health care

Alicia Stokes has many passions – helping advance young leaders, staying involved in her community, and raising her two young children. But one of her very first passions was health. “Commitment to health has been ingrained in me my entire life,” she said. Alicia’s parents have suffered from sickness throughout her life. Her father passed [...]

Need a COVID-safe getaway? Two summer adventures you can take in North Carolina

If you choose to take a summer vacation, here are a few low-risk options in North Carolina that will keep you active and healthy.

Three summer sides you can make with farmer’s market produce

From savory to sweet, here are three healthy side dishes you can make with farmer’s market produce.

Six mask myths debunked

Do cloth face coverings even work? And can they make you sick? We break down your questions and common myths that have arisen about face coverings during COVID-19.

Preparing for Tropical Storm Isaias

It’s hurricane season. Find out how to get early prescription refills so you’re prepared if a storm hits.

Life changes? When and how to let your health insurer know

If you’ve recently gotten married, adopted a child, or changed your personal information, let your health insurer know. We can make sure you have the right coverage for the next phase of your life.

5 Ingredients for Better, Simpler, More Affordable Health Care

Tunde Sotunde, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, shares five ingredients critical to successfully transforming the health care system.

5 cool hikes for one hot North Carolina summer

It’s another hot North Carolina summer. Here are a few hikes that offer shade, swimming holes, or other protection from the 100 degree heat.

Get to know our CEO: Q&A with Dr. Tunde Sotunde

Get to know our CEO, Dr. Tunde Sotunde, and what drives him to make health care better and more equitable.

Planning for a Medical Procedure? Find Out What You Could be Paying (and Saving)

Health care costs shouldn’t be mysterious. We’re making our data public to help you search for common procedures and see how costs compare between nearby hospitals.

How to keep kids safe in the water this summer

Many childhood drownings happen when adults are present but distracted. In a pandemic summer, when we’re all more distracted than usual, how do we keep kids safe in the water?

Preeti Bhanap spends summer in virtual Innovation Garage

Preeti Bhanap shares about her summer internship, the challenges and rewards of working virtually, and her plans to pursue a career in health care.

How to make delicious Carolina Pulled Pork in a slow cooker

It’s July in North Carolina, and that means barbecue season. Try this easy pulled pork recipe for family meals or socially distant get-togethers outdoors.

Behavioral health care is in crisis – but payers have the opportunity to shape a better future.

Payment reform can drive the development of a behavioral health system that is flexible and responsive, especially during times of higher demand.

A Timeline of COVID-19 Symptoms

From initial symptoms to recovery, this timeline can help you know what to expect if you test positive for COVID-19.

Local chef feeds 3,000 people every week amid COVID-19

When the coronavirus hit, one North Carolina chef started cooking thousands of healthy meals for people in need.

Mobile clinic provides health care to kids in need

Durham Technical Community College’s mobile health unit serves children who might not otherwise have access to visual and dental health screenings.

New Report Shows Maternal Health Continues to Trend in the Wrong Direction

There is work to be done to maximize the chances of healthy pregnancies and births in North Carolina and beyond.

100 screen-free ways to keep kids active this summer

With summer camps and sports on hold this summer due to COVID-19, your kids might be looking for some fun new activities. Here are some ideas to keep the kids active this summer.

“I Can’t Breathe:” Racial Injustice and Black Mental Health

Racial injustice takes a significant mental health toll on people of color. One Blue Cross NC employee shares his own story.

Feeding our health heroes: it takes a village

This summer Blue Cross NC is teaming up with the Durham Bulls to deliver meals to health care workers in the Triangle.

Paddling: social distancing and serenity in one

If you’re in search of an outdoor activity that’s safe during the coronavirus, paddling might be for you. You can remain socially distant while enjoying the outdoors.

Is Social Distancing Weakening Our Immune Systems?

Social distancing and wearing masks reduces exposure to germs and bacteria. Does less exposure weaken our immune systems?

Managing Chronic Pain During the Pandemic

The pandemic is making it more challenging for people dealing with chronic pain to receive the care they need. Here’s why.

Juneteenth: The History and the Awkward Silence that Still Surrounds the Why

One Blue Cross employee shares the history of Juneteenth–a holiday recognizing African American freedom–and what it means to her today.

Summer Intern Joshua Wilson shares experience on virtual program

Summer Intern Joshua Wilson shares his experience interning at Blue Cross NC virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understanding The Appeals Process

Learn how to avoid a denied claim, and how to make an appeal if you do get a denial.

Need some mountain time? Try these easy North Carolina hikes

Coronavirus has altered our daily lives, but we can still enjoy the outdoors. These five NC hikes are likely to be less crowded.

Instantly feel better with these work-from-home stretches

With the coronavirus crisis, working from home is suddenly the new normal for millions of people. Here are nine simple stretches that can help reduce stiffness and discomfort.

Pregnant? Here’s What You Need to Know About COVID-19

What risk does COVID-19 pose to pregnant mothers and their babies? Is breastfeeding safe? Your pregnancy-related COVID-19 questions, answered.

Blue Cross NC Statement on Racism and Traumatic Events

We stand against racism.

When is it safe to return to the doctor during covid-19?

During the covid-19 pandemic, many of us have been told to “stay home.” Now, as the state begins to reopen, is it safe to return to the doctor?

3 ingredients to help you lose the ‘Quarantine 15’

Taking care of yourself during COVID-19 is about more than the number on your scale. It’s about moving more, getting good nutrition, and getting enough rest.

Going the extra mile: companies shift to support their communities

From making protective equipment to creating new technologies, our employer groups are quickly shifting operations to meet community needs during COVID-19.

Sensing Hardship? 3 Ways to Help Someone Who Is Experiencing Loneliness from Social Isolation

I notice neighbors showing signs of loneliness and depression. How do I support and talk to friends and family who are struggling with mental health?

What is telehealth? Doctors answer your questions about virtual care.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, many people are getting medical care online or over the phone. But how exactly does telehealth work? Two doctors answer your questions.

An Employer’s Playbook For Supporting Employees Post-COVID

Employees are experiencing difficulties because of COVID-19. Here’s how to play an active role in supporting your employees’ mental health needs.

A fun circuit workout you can do in your backyard or outdoor space

Stuck at home because of the coronavirus? This simple circuit workout you can do in your backyard will support your mental and physical health.

Facts Make Us Safer. Here’s How to Find Them.

Right now, one of the best defenses we have against COVID-19 is accurate information. Learn how to become a coronavirus fact checker.

Local theatres use their sewing skills to make face masks

Our partners at the Carolina Ballet and the North Carolina Theatre are re-purposing their sewing talents to fulfill a different need in the Triangle.

My child needs a vaccination. Can I take her to the clinic during COVID-19?

It may feel nerve-wracking to visit the doctor’s office right now. But the American Academy of Pediatrics is strongly encouraging parents to continue bringing their children in for routine care.

Getting started with a walking or running plan

There’s never been a better time to start walking. Here’s our advice for taking your first steps.

8 ways to stick with exercise and a healthy diet at home

Do you find yourself ditching healthy habits when you’re at home, even if you didn’t intend to? Here’s how to stay on track.

Helping our Neighbors and Community During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us in some way, changing our world view and what a “normal” world looks like.

Tips for managing chronic illnesses during COVID-19

Have a chronic disease? Here’s how you can continue to manage your illness and take care of yourself.

Explore your neighborhood to escape COVID-19 boredom

Bored during the coronavirus pandemic? Get outdoors and try this neighborhood scavenger hunt for a change of scenery.

5 COVID-19 Scams to Stay Away From

Scams are common during the coronavirus pandemic.

What does it all mean? A useful list to explain the toughest insurance terms

Health insurance can be confusing. We’re breaking down some of the most complicated terms to make it simpler.

Turning 65 Soon? Here’s What You Need to Know About Medicare

Now that you’re nearly eligible for Medicare, we’ll help you start thinking about your insurance options and how you’ll pay for health care that Medicare doesn’t cover.

Resilience in the Face of COVID-19

There are concrete steps we can take to help cope during this overwhelming crisis of COVID-19.

How to support your community safely during COVID-19

From virtual food banks to blood donation, here are a few ways to safely support your community during this crisis.

Talking to your kids about the coronavirus

There is no instruction manual on talking to children about a global pandemic. A child psychiatrist and mom of two offers her thoughts on continuing to discuss the crisis with your children.

COVID-19: Answering your coronavirus questions

Fact or Fiction? 6 COVID-19 Statements Explained.

The inside look at coronavirus I never wanted

Three of my family members are sick with coronavirus. They are quarantined in their home in the UK, where local hospitals have run out of space to care for them.

10 exercises you can do from your couch

With the “stay at home” guidelines currently in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, people everywhere are spending more time in front of the TV right now. Do you find it hard to get motivated to get off the couch and exercise? What would you say if I told you that you […]

Don’t Let These 3 Worries Keep You from Seeking Behavioral Health Care

As Americans become more aware of the signs, symptoms and impact of behavioral health conditions, many are realizing that they may need assistance to deal with things like chronic stress, depression or substance use.

Benefits of Telehealth

On March 6, 2020, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina expanded virtual access to health care providers in response to COVID-19.

Experiencing pandemic panic? Here’s how to stop it

We are living in uncertain times. With the coronavirus altering our daily lives, many of us are experiencing anxiety and panic.

5 Things Businesses Are Already Learning from the COVID-19 Crisis

Life during the COVID-19 outbreak is changing our lives in ways we hadn’t contemplated before now.

Six easy tips for a healthy home workspace

Some employees may find that they are suddenly working from home more than ever because of social distancing. Here are a few tips for healthy ergonomics, using materials that are easy to find at home. 1. Stack books to raise your screen to eye level. You can hook up an old TV or computer monitor […]

How to exercise at home with limited space and budget

As I write this, people across the country are staying home to quell the coronavirus. For many, budgets have suddenly tightened. Gyms, community recreation centers, and group fitness classes have suspended operations.

How to enjoy the outdoors despite COVID-19

As the world around us closes down, one place hasn’t: the outdoors. True, some facilities have closed. North Carolina State Parks closed its visitor centers and campgrounds. Most local parks departments have closed their rec centers and canceled programs. But for the most part, trails and greenways remain open. That’s not to say that taking […]

Our Response to COVID-19

We’re only four months into 2020 and already, it’s a year none of us will soon forget. Concerns about the novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, have – for the time being – changed how we think of the most basic parts of our lives: where we do our work, how we engage with family […]

Working from home with kids during the pandemic

Maggie, a mom of two, is working remotely to limit the spread of covid-19. Here she shares a few tips for managing her workload while taking care of school-aged kids at home.

Not a medical professional? Here are 12 actions YOU can take to drive health in the time of covid-19

Co-authored by Bryony Winn and Beckie Brooks Wow. What a moment for the world. This is a discombobulating time for all of us, and it’s totally okay to feel it. We do. While there a multitude of excellent sources for medical information on covid-19 (On Twitter, we highly recommend following @aslavitt, @Ashishkjha, @farzad_MD, @RahulRajkumar11), many non-medical people – like us – […]

The Health and Safety of our Members and Employees is our Top Priority

While COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the nation and much of the world, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is keeping the health and safety of our members and employees as our top priority. The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic and President Trump has declared a national […]

How I walked off 60 lbs. — and you can, too

Walking is one of the simplest exercises there is, yet incredibly beneficial. There are so many advantages to walking.

Vaping and Your Health: What We Know Now

Vaping and e-cigarettes were originally supposed to be a lifeline for adult smokers: a safer alternative that might even help them quit tobacco smoking. As it turns out, this promise has fallen far short. Vaping has now been tied to many serious health effects, including an outbreak of lung diseases that began in the fall […]

Ten Years of the Affordable Care Act

It’s been ten years since the landmark passage of the Affordable Care Act, and six years since the Marketplace opened and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) began selling individual plans on the federal marketplace.

Moving Beyond Diversity: 3 Ways to Change Behaviors to Foster Inclusion

Having been in the workforce for many years, I’ve seen an evolution that’s powerful. Things are changing. I remember being a young woman starting out in financial services, where it was intimidating to speak my voice in a way I could be heard. But I was fortunate to have wonderful mentors – male and female […]

Maintaining Strength & Stability for Our Customers in 2019

With spring approaching, we’re entering the season when many Americans file their taxes. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), this time of year marks the preparation and filing of our yearly financial results. Each year, this filing provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our performance and how we’re […]

Hands-only CPR: Are you prepared to save a life?

Have you heard of hands-only CPR? Did you know you can learn how to do it in one hour or less? Hands-only CPR classes, often offered at work, church or by community organizations, could prepare YOU to save a life. Employee Anthony Hicks was in the right place at the right time to save a […]

More Than a Haircut

As an African-American boy growing up, there are certain events and unique cultural rites of passage that many of us are expected to experience at some point as we grow into young men.  For my generation, making sure your “kicks” (that means shoes for my ebonics challenged friends out there) were always fresh and clean.  […]

Your health can’t take days off

Taking your medications as your doctor recommends is one key part of managing your whole health. With just a few simple tips, we can help take some of the stress out of juggling your daily medications.

My Life-Changing Perspective: What I Learned in the Tobacco Fields with “Mean Ma-Ma”

When Cedric Palmore, Chairman of AABEN, recently asked me to share my journey to “success” at a town hall style meeting, I looked at him and let out a small laugh. Success? I wasn’t sure I had gotten there yet. But that moment did get me thinking about where I came from and where I […]

Spring wildflowers are blooming: 5 places to find them

For the last decade or so, I’ve started keeping an eye out for the first signs of spring beginning the second or third week of February. Usually, the spring peepers are the first to signal the pending change; I heard my first of the year on January 12 in a vernal pool near Jordan Lake. […]

10 must-know things for your first exercise class

As a certified group fitness instructor, one of my biggest joys is welcoming a new person to the class. Typically, they arrive a little nervous and say something like, “I’m not sure if I can do this or not, but I heard it was good so I thought I’d try.” And then at the end, […]

Take advantage of these 3 unexpected health insurance benefits

Blue Cross NC health insurance policies include benefits such as free 24/7 telehealth services and resources to help you learn about your prescription medicines.

I wanted a pill. My therapist said I needed a hobby.

Tom wanted medication to treat his anxiety and depression. His psychologist recommended he start a hobby, which led him to connect with nature via birding.

Prosthetics didn’t match her personality. That was before the Hero Arm.

Kate took a yearslong break from wearing a prosthetic arm, but with advancing technology, Kate discovered the 3D-printed Hero Arm.

Giving Rural Areas the Tools to Thrive

I grew up in Mebane, NC, way before the Tanger Outlets became a landmark and even before much of today’s public transportation existed. Football pep rallies were the talk of the town. My graduating high school only had 110 seniors. Like so many of them, I was focused on college as my way out of […]

What’s the Difference Between an HSA and FSA?

When it comes to enrolling in a health care plan, we know there are a lot of choices to make. We can help you break down the similarities and differences between FSA and HSA accounts so you can make the best choice for you.

Hearing Aid Benefit Added to Your Coverage This Year

At Blue Cross NC, we feel hearing loss is too important to the health and lives of our members to let it go untreated.

2020’s hottest fitness trends: Which is right for you?

Need some motivation to achieve your 2020 fitness goals? Looking for something new to spice up your current routine? Perhaps you might like to try one or more of today’s top fitness trends. Each year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) compiles a list of the top worldwide fitness trends, based on a survey […]

I’m a Doctor Who Got the Flu. Here’s What I Learned.

To confirm what you already knew, yes, doctors also get sick. We’re flesh and blood, subject to the same bumps, bruises, and maladies as anybody else. And we contract influenza just like you. “Flu” is a word that gets tossed around pretty casually these days. When you hear that someone is “out with the flu,” […]

5 North Carolina Hikes with the biggest payoffs

You know that walking is good for you, possibly the easiest and most accessible thing you can do to improve your health. Walking regularly can lower your blood pressure, increase your bone density, lessen your risk of heart disease — the list goes on. But, again, you know that.  Still, sometimes you need added incentive, a little […]

Laying the Foundation for a Stronger, Healthier Community

Living in Carrboro for more than 25 years now, Sarah Scott has seen a lot of things change. But no change in her community has been as impactful for her family as her experience with Community Home Trust. “Before they took over, our needs weren’t really getting met,” Sarah said of her apartment’s new management […]

Five Tips For Choosing A New Primary Care Doctor

The prospect of choosing a new primary care doctor can be difficult. Your primary care doctor isn’t just another doctor, they’re someone you work with on your health goals and challenges. Thankfully the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has put together some great tips.

3 Ways to Take Care of Your Heart During American Heart Month

With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s time we put an increased focus on truly loving and taking care of your heart. Since February is American Heart Month, now is a great time to get started. Discussing your heart health and ways to prevent heart disease should be […]

The cure for your nature-deficit disorder

You’ve probably seen the latest research showing that simply being outside is good for you. According to WebMD.com, just standing outside for 5 to 15 minutes two or three times a week can give you a healthy boost of Vitamin D, which is “important for your bones, blood cells and immune system,” among other things. […]

3 Ways Your Health Care Experience is Changing

While the concept of value-based care is not new, it is certainly gaining traction in the health care industry. The reason is simple.

A kids journey to CEO

Years ago, a boy was hanging with his friends and throwing rocks, attempting to break windows on a train that was passing by. A man saw what the boys were doing and stopped one of them and told him about a place where he could do something better… be better. So, he took the boy to a local Boys Club (which […]

Allergy Testing: What You Really Need to Know

With winter in full effect and spring right around the corner, we know we’ll soon enter a season not technically on the calendar but important nonetheless – allergy season.  Allergy season can start as early as January here in the South and last well into November. But for the more than 24 million people who have […]

3 air fryer recipes your whole family will love

An air fryer is a countertop convection oven that cooks food by circulating hot air. It’s a way to cook food crispy and fast, without deep frying or pan-frying in oil.

What you need to know about Coronavirus

Learn more about coronavirus, a respiratory illness that can be severe for people with a weakened immune system.

How Toddler Screen Time Can Impact Brain Development

The amount of media and screen time we consume has always been up for debate, especially when it comes to young children. A decade ago, we worried about the effects of too much TV. Before that, radio consumption was in question (can you imagine?). As a parent of two young children, I’m very aware that […]

What to Expect During Your Annual Wellness Visit

It is a known fact that as we age, we are more likely to get sick due to the weakening of our immune system. Illnesses hit us harder, recovery takes longer, and prevention becomes even more important.

How to choose the right fitness club for you

Finding the right health club can be confusing. With endless TV commercials, billboards, and social media ads, and new clubs popping up everywhere, how do you choose the one that’s right for you?

When It’s More Than Just the “Winter Blues”

As seasons change, you may notice that your mental health does too. And while it may be easy to brush the change off as the “winter blues” or a seasonal slump, it may be something more. With shorter days and longer nights, Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or seasonal depression, commonly occurs as we […]

4 Ways to Choose the Right Health Insurance for Your Small Business

There are many beneficial reasons to purchase health insurance for your small business. However, health insurance products and services are certainly not “one-size fits all.” Choosing the right insurer and the right plan are essential for making the most of your small business’s investment. Here are the four main factors our small business clients usually […]

Why virtual therapy isn’t as scary as you think

Until a month or so ago, I had never turned on the video feature in Skype. I had never Zoomed. I’d only used FaceTime or other video chat apps very rarely, like if I were out of town on my birthday and my sister insisted on singing for me.

Generation Y: Answering Three Critical Questions About Millennials and Behavioral Health

With today’s technological advances, medical innovations, and unprecedented access to information, you might expect millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996, to be ahead of the curve when it comes to their own health. However, according to a report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), the opposite is true. Focusing on the […]

Get Fit for free with Silver and Fit

Did you know that as a Silver&Fit member you can go to a fitness center and not pay a thing? It’s true!

How to Get Your Subscriber ID and Member Card Online

If you have not received your member ID card in the mail yet, you can still access your subscriber ID and your benefits. In order to do so, you must register for Blue Connect online. Once you log into Blue Connect, you can find your subscriber ID.  Here’s how to register for Blue Connect without […]

Make the Most of Your Health Care in 2020

Though the start of a new year always represents news beginnings, this year we’ve hit an even bigger milestone: the start of a new decade. 2020 is a great time to take stock of your health and plan for the year ahead. Here are some simple steps to make sure you’re getting the most out of your […]

New year, new you: 12 ways to set yourself up for success

It’s always among the top resolutions: Lose weight. Eat healthy. Exercise more. Practice better self-care.  As a weight loss success story turned fitness professional, I’ve been there. And I’ve assisted many others on their journeys to better health and fitness.    If you’re looking to make this the year you accomplish your fitness and weight loss […]

16 Weeks…

This post is in honor of my sister-in-law, whose life was far too short, and lost to us by the thief called cancer. My sister-in-law just passed. She was 53 years old. Her name was Cheryl. She had been going to her doctor for the last six years complaining about being in pain and feeling […]

Holiday Hustle 10-minute Circuit Workout

Think you’re too busy to fit in a good workout? Try this one on for size. Here is a full-body cardio and strength program you can do at home in just 10 minutes! It’s done circuit style, alternating one minute of cardio and one minute of strength work. Because you are doing cardio every other […]

Important Update on Blue Home with UNC Health Alliance and Lee County

In Lee County, additional primary care, urgent care, and convenience care practices will be added to the Blue Home with UNC Health Alliance provider network, effective January 1, 2020.

Make Self-Care a Priority During the Holidays

I know I need to focus more on self-care, but just getting through the day with two kids and a job can often be overwhelming. Adding in self-care? Who has the time and energy for that? I think most of us think of self-care as occasionally hiding away in the bedroom, reading a novel with […]

A Time for Change: Addressing the Drivers of Health

Around 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates detailed the relationship between our living environment and our health in his book On Airs, Waters, and Places. In the book, the great physician and philosopher offered guidance to doctors who traveled the countryside, advising them to consider a range of factors that have a significant impact on health and […]

An Important Update on Blue Local with Wake Forest Baptist Health and Randolph County

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has an important update about our Blue Local with Wake Forest Baptist Health product: Randolph Health will be in-network, effective January 2020.

Important Update on Blue Home with UNC Health Alliance in Person County

In Person County, eleven primary care and specialty practices will be added to the Blue Home with UNC Health Alliance provider network, effective January 1, 2020.

Running to Lose Weight

Running is the most efficient exercise for weight loss. Now, I know some people will argue the point, but let’s remember that at its core weight loss is a math equation: Calories In – Calories Out = Calories Gained or Lost It takes roughly 3,500 calories to lose one pound. This is where running becomes […]

Our Army of Volunteers at Blue Cross NC

I can’t save the world, but I can make an impact. It was often the small and seemingly “insignificant” acts of kindness done for my family that had the biggest impact on my life. Growing Up Military My dad was in the Army, so I grew up as an “Army Brat,” as some might say. […]

3 Helpful Tips to Hear Better This Holiday Season

Holidays are a big time for gatherings and parties, and it could be difficult to hear others in these settings.

Have Diabetes? Here’s One of the Most Important Things You Can Do

Diabetes is a condition in which the body doesn’t properly make (type 1) or use (type 2) enough insulin, a hormone that turns food into energy. And it’s widespread: one in 10 people in the United States have diabetes, and an estimated 23.8% of that 30.3 million are undiagnosed.1   But people diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes […]

Your Eyes Expose Secrets to Your Health

Did you know an eye exam can do more than measure your eyesight? It can also tell you a lot about your overall health.   A couple of years ago, my eye doctor noticed my eyesight had dramatically changed. She stopped the exam and told me to get tested for diabetes before she would continue. Luckily, I didn’t have […]

Rising to Meet the Challenges of Addiction Treatment

Finding and receiving treatment for addiction is one of the most difficult health care encounters a person can face. Patients and their families often don’t know where to turn with their questions about substance use disorders. Questions like: How do I know what type of treatment will work? What kind of care do I need? […]

5 Ways to Save on Health Care Costs Today 

The health care system is complex and health care costs are on the rise.

Is a High-Deductible Insurance Plan Right for You?

If you’ve gotten the feeling that choosing a health insurance plan requires more research – and more decisions – than it used to, you’re not wrong.

Navigating In-Network and Out-of-Network Charges

Whether you’re signing up for a health plan, searching for a doctor or just checking to see if you owe anything, the terms “in-network” and “out-of-network” are bound to pop up. And sooner than you might expect.

5 Ways to Easily Save on Prescriptions

A recent CDC study showed 69 percent of U.S. adults aged 40 to 79 years old, used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days, and 22.4 percent, used at least five prescription drugs. Those expenses add up quickly.

Health Savings Accounts: How do they work?

As consumers continue to take a more active role in their health care, Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are becoming more common. An HSA is a tax-exempt savings account for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses. A few things you need to know about HSAs. By law, only people with a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) can open an […]

Why is strength training important for women?

Resistance training isn’t just about getting more muscle tone. It’s also about becoming healthier, more fit, and feeling stronger — all of which is empowering for women. Exercising with weights provides many important health benefits for women, and should be included in your fitness routine along with cardio. Benefits of strength training There are many […]

Lose weight and get fit for less with Blue365

 No matter the season, it’s the perfect time to take charge of your health. Did you know that as a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) member you’re eligible for an exclusive, valuable discount program that can help with that, it’s called Blue365? As a member and a fitness professional, […]

5 Ways Health Insurance Will Drive Your Small Business’s Bottom Line

Successfully running a small business is no easy feat. As your company’s leader, it’s likely that your role involves juggling multiple functions of the organization. One hour you’re the HR manager and the next you’re the head of Sales, Marketing, Customer Service – the list goes on. If it’s not already, hiring new employees is […]

Healthy Blue Knows Home is Where Your Health Is

“It’s hard to get back on your feet once you’ve hit bottom, once you’ve lost everything. It’s hard to find a job when you can’t take a shower or you’re living on the street. You’re irritable, you’re grumpy, you’re tired, the heat has gotten to you.” Hollianne Harris knows from personal experience how safe and […]

Habitat’s Crescent Magnolia Community Provides More than Just Homes

John is one of the first new homeowners who’ll soon be moving into the Crescent Magnolia senior living community located in Hillsborough NC, which is being spearheaded by Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. A Booming Population John is part of a growing number of seniors who have been overlooked when it comes to affordable […]

Is It Possible to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel?

Many people find the holidays stressful. With all the added holiday things you need to do, it can be overwhelming to keep up the healthy habits you’ve worked so hard to establish during the year. The key to your success is planning ahead and staying flexible if things don’t go exactly as planned. Getting on […]

New Primary Care Options for Medicare Advantage Customers 

If you’re looking for a Medicare Advantage plan, you have new options for choosing your primary care provider.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has helped bring two new Advanced Primary Care providers – Cityblock, and Iora Primary Care – to North Carolina to serve Medicare Advantage customers. Advanced primary […]

Could your child have ADHD, like mine?

The first few months of a new school year have come and gone. Those “First Day of School” pictures you took on your porch back in August were well-liked on Facebook and will be sure to give you a boost of nostalgia when they pop up on your feed in a few years. Hopefully, all […]

9 Fun Ways to Walk with Your Family This Fall

Fall is the perfect time to venture outdoors and explore our beautiful state with your family, on foot. Walking is not only excellent exercise, when you walk together with your family you’re making memories to treasure forever. Here are some fun ways you and your family can get walking this fall. Make it a spooky […]

Guilt-Free Zone: Walk it off at The NC State Fair

Fall is here and that means it’s time for the North Carolina State Fair! If you’re tempted by The Chickenator (a cinnamon bun stuffed with fried chicken, pepper jack cheese, bacon and honey sauce) or the Crack-n-Cheese® Stuffed Turkey Leg (a drumstick stuffed with mac and cheese, among other things) at this year’s North Carolina […]

Are you looking for opportunities to expand your business? Look globally.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina offers international health coverage through GeoBlue

Can exercise make you happier?

We all know exercise can make you stronger, leaner and physically healthier. But what about your mental health? Can exercise make you feel happier? I can tell you from my own personal experience that exercise made a big difference for me. Eleven years ago I went from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one. At […]

Could CBD oil be the cure for what ails us?

I walked into the store, momentarily wishing I were a little hipper, and a little less middle-aged mom-ish. It was surprisingly bright, clean and tastefully decorated. Not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I’d had in mind for a store that sold cannabis-derived products. As a person who grew up in […]

Detect Breast Cancer Early. It Can Save Your Life.

Every day of the year, breast cancer affects the lives of thousands of women. As the Susan G. Komen® organization reminds us: Breast cancer accounts for one out of every three cancer diagnoses in women. In 2019 in the U.S. alone, approximately 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in […]

Why Health Insurance is Important and What Options You Have

Understand why health insurance is important. Know your health insurance options, including Medicaid eligibility, Marketplace plans, and individual plans.

Flu Shots: We Debunk Some of the Biggest Myths

Flu season is already here and according to health experts, getting your flu shot this year will be critical. ABC News reports that only half of American adults plan to get the shot. The importance of getting the vaccine right to protect against influenza can be seen in our own backyard as Duke announced a […]

Strength Training for Optimal Race Performance

I am guilty of falling into the trap of only running. As a busy mom, it is easier for me to get out and run and ignore important training items like strength training and stretching. But when I DO strength train I perform better. I love to try new fitness trends, but the strength program […]

What to Know After Receiving A Breast Cancer Diagnosis

This year marks our 6th year of taking part in Paint the Wall Pink, an annual event where Blue Cross NC employees, volunteers and breast cancer survivors travel to Charlotte to make their mark on Charlotte Motor Speedway. During the event, we transform the pit wall into a pink masterpiece to promote breast cancer awareness […]

Every adventure for this developer brings opportunities for growth

Cedric Palmore is working to implement new brick and mortar provider practices focused on delivering advanced primary care.

Lynne survives sepsis on Hawaiian vacation

When Lynne Hamlet and her family set off on their dream vacation to Hawaii in June 2018, they had no idea of the nightmare that was soon to come. No, this isn’t the plot of a Netflix movie – it’s real life. Vacation interrupted They were there to celebrate a milestone birthday as well as […]

Keeping Teens Safe: E-Cigarette and Vaping Risks

Hitting the U.S. market in 2006, e-cigarettes are one of the most popular smoking trends today. Sometimes referred to as “vaping” or “juuling,” these devices work by using an electronic device to heat a liquid typically made up of nicotine, flavoring, and other chemicals which the user inhales as a vapor. As of 2016, there […]

5 Biking Benefits and Where to Hit the Trails in North Carolina

Are you looking for a fun way to get outside this fall? Whether you are in the mountains, along the coast or somewhere in between, North Carolina has a bike trail for you to explore. Riders of any skill level can find a scenic bike route in every region of the state. So, strap on […]

It’s Hurricane Season! Here’s how to access your health care and early refills

HEALTH QUESTIONS? Our Health Line Blue (1-877-477-2424) nurses can help 24/7 (Check with your employer to see if your plan includes Health Lined Blue). Let our nurses help you decide where to get care when you need it. • Answer questions until you can see your doctor • Answer questions about your medications • Give […]

Get ready to run your best race with these 5k, 10k, and Half-Marathon plans

Over the years I have helped hundreds get across the finish line at their first road race – and I want you to be the next one! I have created training plans for beginner and advanced 5K training, 10K training and half marathon training to help YOU finish strong at your next road race. The […]

New Mobile Dental Unit means more smiles in Gaston County

Visiting the dentist may not be everyone’s favorite appointment, but research shows1 that poor oral health can impact overall health and well-being. Establishing good dental hygiene is important for all ages, and teaching healthy habits to kids is even more crucial. Providing this education, and creating positive dental experiences, is something Gaston Family Health Services […]

There is still time for a summer adventure!

Don’t worry, summer is not over and there’s still time for an awesome summer adventure! Sure, you look at the calendar, slap your forehead and realize that it’s almost Labor Day, and you’ve let the summer slip away. Maybe you don’t have time for that epic, week-long hike you promised yourself at the beginning of […]

What to Know About our 2020 ACA Plans

It’s official: we’re lowering rates by an average of 5.5 percent for 2020 Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans offered to individuals. The North Carolina Department of Insurance has approved our reduction, making this is the second year in a row that we have decreased average rates for individual ACA members. Our average rate reduction for […]

Shag dancing is good for your health

Step back in time to the Carolina coast in the 1950s. Soft drinks are served in glass bottles. Ladies wore their hair sky-high. And Carolina Shag dominated the dance floor. Jennifer Payne, R.N., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) Episodic Care Manager and professional Carolina Shag competitive dancer grew up […]

Sharing Isn’t Always Caring: 5 Common Daycare Diseases

At daycare, our children learn that “sharing is caring,” and sharing germs is no exception. Children from infancy to age five will share toys and food, they hold hands and spend eight-plus hours a day together. The perfect combination for spreading viruses and infection. If you’ve seen a fluorescent-colored sign on the door of your […]

Business analyst intern learns Blue Cross NC is more than claims and writing plans

It was the opportunity to contribute to hands-on projects that initially attracted Patrick Schilling to apply for a summer internship at Blue Cross NC. 

How to Help Someone Who is Having a Seizure

Did you know about 1 in 10 people may have a seizure during their lifetime? With such a high probability, chances are someone may have a seizure around you at some point. Do you know how to help someone who is having a seizure?   What are the symptoms of a seizure?  A seizure occurs when […]

It’s Never Too Late: How To Get Fit Over 40

Exercise and fitness is a great stress relief and helps prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Cardio and eating healthier can help with weight loss. Think it’s too late for you to get fit and get healthy? Think again! I understand. I’ve been there. At age 41, I finally overcame decades of yo-yo dieting […]

Here’s How We Listen To Our Customers

We know the value of listening to our customers. For more than 85 years, we’ve proudly served you! We always welcome feedback and want to hear from you. We hear you as we monitor comments and requests for help on social media. We also welcome members to drop by one of three Blue Cross NC […]

A beginner’s guide to understanding health insurance

Take control of your health insurance and learn about deductibles, coinsurance, claims, copayments, coinsurance, and premiums.

Why Having a Primary Care Doctor is Important

Primary care physicians (PCPs) are your go-to for your health concerns. Having a PCP and getting routine health screenings can help catch heath issues sooner.

5 things every phone owner needs to know about their Blue Cross NC health insurance

View health insurance benefits through the Blue Connect app; use BCBS NC’s Find a Doctor tool, and connect with a nurse 24/7–all from your mobile phone.

Blue Cross NC Employee Fights Childhood Hunger with Data

Gayatri Rathod has a contagious enthusiasm for learning. She empowers others at work by organizing analytic events around our culture of collaboration and innovation.  She is part of Tech Network of Women, an employee network that promotes pathways for women in technology.

A Buffalo Cauliflower Recipe Meat Lovers Will Love

When you hear the words buffalo cauliflower, your first thought may be how can buffalo cauliflower even compare to buffalo chicken? Buffalo chicken is a classic American flavor that can be adjusted based on a person’s taste buds. Do you like it mild, hot, or 5-alarm? Some people may bypass buffalo sauce and go for […]

What’s the Best Form of Birth Control for You?

Many refer to it as birth control while others refer to it as “B.C.” Regardless of what you call it, all forms of birth control help prevent unwanted pregnancy. At least, that’s what many think. However, birth control does a lot more than just preventing pregnancy. According to Youngwomenshealth.org  birth control pills can also be […]

IT employee blends customer service experience with technology training

No matter what department we work in at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), every customer matters. Phoenix Smith, a developer associate in IT, brings her friendly, solution-driven personality to IT just as much as she did when working as a customer service professional. Phoenix is working on a project […]

5 Mountain Adventures for the Casual Hiker

We love the idea of a mountain hike. We’re also intimidated by it. Hiking in the Southern Appalachians is often defined by its difficulty. Want to summit Mount Mitchell? At an elevation of 6,684 feet, it’s the highest point in the eastern United States? You have to start at the base and gain 3,700 vertical […]

Latori Gregory researches ‘drivers of health’ during summer internship

As a Blue Cross NC summer intern, Gregory is working with the Community & Diversity Engagement Team. She’s spending the summer volunteering and working with local nonprofits.

We Must Solve the Opioid Problem Without Making the Pain Problem Worse

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Scholars differ on the origins of that quote, but that debate doesn’t change the core truth being expressed. Humans can’t expect to live a life without pain; to be alive is to hurt. Fortunately, science has delivered some very effective ways of minimizing our physical suffering. And there is […]

Male Breast Cancer is Rare but not Uncommon

How often do you hear of men being diagnosed with breast cancer? Not often – but that doesn’t mean not possible. It may sound strange to hear at first because we see all of the ads that talk about women’s brave fights against the horrible disease. But, statistics suggested by Komen.com say that  breast cancer […]

Resistance band workout for stronger arms, legs and abs

Want to get stronger and firmer without lifting weights, going to a gym, or spending a lot of money? Meet your new best friend, the resistance band. It’s a simple but effective piece of exercise equipment. Tone up with this simple tool that’s perfect for home, hotel or office.  One of the best things about […]

Improving the Health of America Starts in Our Communities

One of the most rewarding parts of being a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) employee is knowing that our work is making a positive impact in the lives of millions of North Carolinians.

A Vaccine That Prevents HPV and Cancer? Yes, It’s True

There are many things in life we can’t control, such as the weather or growing old. However, there are a number of things we can control, like how we react to situations, how to be honest with others and you or your child’s likelihood of developing cancer from HPV. Yes, you read that correctly. If […]

On Independence Day, Exercise Your Freedom to Have Fun

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate our freedom. It’s been a tradition for 243 years now! And we celebrate in a multitude of ways. We watch fireworks displays. We eat hot dogs and hamburgers and spend time with family. Many of us will have the day off and time to get out and play. […]

Happy and Healthy Checklist for Holiday Travel

Summer is here! Whether you’re planning a trip near home, far away, to the coast, to the mountains or anywhere in between there are a few things you should always include on your packing list and questions you should ask yourself. Be prepared for whatever comes your way and stay happy and healthy while you […]

Party Outside! (Without A Trip To Urgent Care)

With summer in full swing, there’s nothing quite like the fun of cooking in the great outdoors. If you’re mindful of a few safety tips, you’ll help ensure a good time is had by all. Food Prep Safety The U.S. Department of Agriculture1 shares these guidelines: Get your food home from the grocery store quickly. […]

Summer intern Dana Afifi creates our Value playbook

As our Healthcare Developer Intern, Dana is spending the summer working on two big projects that will help bring higher quality and lower cost to our members.

Ampliación del programa piloto La Mesita para financiar más servicios de salud de mental

Cuando El Futuro se estableció en el año 2004, era una organización dirigida por voluntarios, que intentaba satisfacer una necesidad que ninguna otra organización había intentado satisfacer. En Carrboro no existía un establecimiento al que los miembros de la comunidad latina pudieran acudir para tener acceso a atención de salud mental de calidad. Las clínicas […]

Fresh Food Delivered To Your Doorstep with Blue 365

Blue 365 members can support their active, healthy lifestyle by ordering affordable, farm-fresh produce delivered to their home or office.

Do You Know How to Spot Signs of Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is an issue that is hard to stomach, but an important one to talk about. By knowing the signs, we can raise awareness, educate, and take action to support this vulnerable population. What is elder abuse?  The National Center on Elder Abuse defines elder abuse as the mistreatment or harming of an older […]

Pick Up The Phone: Our Nurses Want To Talk To You

Dawn, one of our senior healthcare program developers, shares her thoughts on “taking the call” from Blue Cross NC. Yesterday, I received five calls about everything from extending my car warranty to my kids’ school schedules to my credit card company. I often ignore calls especially those with no caller ID, thinking, “if it’s important […]

3 Celebrities You May Not Know Wear Hearing Aids

Hearing loss affects people in all professions and income levels. Here are three hearing-aid-wearing celebrities you probably weren’t aware of.

A Focus On Opioid Data and Policies for Summer Internship

Mitch Haynes was inspired to apply for the Clinical Pharmacist internship to get opportunities he lacks in the classroom.

Investment to expand La Mesita Pilot to fund more Latino behavioral health care

When El Futuro began as a volunteer-led organization in 2004, we were serving a nearly completely unmet need — in Carrboro, there was no brick and mortar institution for Latino community members to access quality behavioral health care. Clinics in the Triangle had a shortage of providers able to serve the growing number of Latino […]

Inside the Humble Cabbage: Lots of Great Nutrition

Cabbage may not be as “pretty” as some other produce, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts! In this case, it’s vitamin C — which has some pretty awesome health benefits you should know about. RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS People often associate vitamin C with fruit such as oranges and grapefruit. So it may surprise […]

Tomatoes: Beautiful to the Eye, Healthy for the Heart

Nothing adds delightful color and taste to cooking more than tomatoes. There’s a huge variety to choose from in a multitude of colors and sizes. From soups to salads… to salsas and sauces for meats and pasta… tomatoes are a delicious part of many diets. And they are plentiful in North Carolina. Our farmers grow […]

Watermelon: Surprising Health Benefits

Hooray for watermelon! It’s one of the delightful signs that summer’s finally here. There’s nothing as refreshing in hot weather as a cool wedge of watermelon. Turns out, it’s also one of the healthiest foods you can eat! ABCs of WATERMELON’S HEALTH BENEFITS Watermelon is rich in vitamins A, B6, and C. According to the […]

Healthy Sweet Potatoes: Not Just for Thanksgiving

During the Fall and Winter holidays, it seems like every celebration table features sweet potatoes, usually dressed up with lots of butter, brown sugar and/or covered up with melted marshmallows. But this vegetable is so scrumptious and healthy on its own, it really should be enjoyed all year round — and not only smothered with […]

10 healthy ways to have fun in North Carolina on a budget

Looking for some free and low-cost ways your family can get a healthy dose of fun this summer while staying close to home? You’re in the perfect place – North Carolina! We are fortunate to have so many recreational opportunities and resources in our backyard. Here’s just a sampling of places across the state to […]

‘Fore’ Reasons Golf is A Hole-in-One For Health

North Carolina is home to nearly 600 golf courses1 so there are ample options for hitting the fairway this Father’s Day. Aside from bonding over birdies with dad, there are several well-researched health benefits associated with golf. So grab your clubs and hit the links. Improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease Playing golf regularly can improve […]

Guy Code Doesn’t Mean Skipping Doctor Visits

Men may have the reputation of avoiding trips to the doctor at all costs, even when we know that we’ve been having problems with our health. In fact, according to the Centers of Disease Control, women are more likely than men to visit the doctor. Why is this? Could it be that many men think […]

Investing In Community and Wellness at UNC-Pembroke

(Brittany Chess, a Graduate Student within the Professional School of Counseling at UNC Pembroke pictured above)  Rural counties are especially vulnerable to health disparities, and Robeson County, marked by high levels of poverty and higher than average levels of insured individuals, is no exception. That’s why Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue […]

Life Changes? How to Get Health Insurance Coverage When It Does

Each year, you make important decisions about your health insurance coverage. You do the research, do the math, and sign up for the plan that’s best for you and your family. Maybe that’s individual coverage purchased through a local insurance agent or online. Or, maybe you’re covered by a plan offered through a job. No […]

Teaming Up To Address Food Insecurity in NC This Summer

Sort-A-Rama, a summer hunger program, ensures families are fed even when school isn’t in session.

Facts you should know about Sunscreen

As the weather warms up, you may have noticed an increase in the debate between physical and chemical sunscreen. Most people know that sunscreen can offer protection from the dangers of prolonged UV radiation caused by the sun’s rays. But do you know how your sunscreen offers that protection? History of Sunscreen in America Many […]

Summer is Coming, Grab a Paddle and Hit the Water

It’s almost summer, it’s getting hot. There’s only one place you’ll even think about being active, and that’s in the water. For many North Carolinians, the only way to cool off is at the beach or at a local lake. We have beautiful options all across the state. Picture yourself in a stable canoe or […]

Fighting diabetes? Here are some exercises for you

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Of the more than 30 million Americans with diabetes, 90-95% percent have type 2, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this post, we’ll focus on guidelines for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops over […]

Vivian Howard’s Recipe To Help Her Dad With Pre-Diabetes

“For as long as I can remember, my Dad’s been on a diet, trying to lose weight,” Vivian Howard explained. “Overall he’s very healthy; he exercises every morning. Well, about eight years ago, we learned Dad is pre-diabetic… he has ‘a little bit of sugar’ as they say.” Tracy, a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor, […]

Mashed Un-Potatoes Earns A Surprising Rave Review

“I’M PLEASANTLY SURPRISED, ACTUALLY!” Sam Jones, in addition to being a Fire Chief in Eastern North Carolina, is a well-respected barbecue chef. So he’s naturally opinionated about food. When chef Vivian Howard offered him a taste of mashed potatoes made with cauliflower instead, let’s say he was a bit skeptical about how it would taste. […]

Running All The Miles: 6 Essential Tips to Train for a Half Marathon

I’ll admit that running a half marathon wasn’t at the top of my bucket list. Sure, I’ve run 5K, and even a 10-miler, but I never thought I’d make it any farther than that. Then my aunt gave me some great advice: run just a little farther than you think you can. That made me […]

6 Health Insurance tips to help save time, cost and stress

Customers often ask us how they can use their health insurance more effectively or how to find an easier way to access the help they need. We know navigating health care and insurance can be confusing and are working to make it a little easier.     Read your Benefit Booklet You should receive your […]

Will Miss Lillie Finally “Eat Her Vegetables”?

The award-winning chef and author Vivian Howard has a friend named Miss Lillie Hardy. They both hail from Eastern North Carolina. Miss Lillie loves making her mom’s dish known as “Kill Hungry,” because it does exactly what it sounds like: makes your hunger a thing of the past. “Kill Hungry” is loaded up with macaroni […]

Here’s What You Need To Know About Measles

If you watch the news then you have seen the increase in measles outbreaks, particularly with children. Its symptoms mimic the common cold, but a few tell-tale signs can keep you safe from contracting this highly-contagious virus. To help you better understand the disease and what to look out for, we’re giving you the facts […]

A Little Farm That Helps NC Thrive

There’s this farm in Raleigh just off the busy beltline. You’d never know it unless you deliberately turned onto the dusty, gravel road. Once inside, the tree line hides the noise of the busy world just beyond the pines. Over the quiet grows the buzzing of volunteers. The clanking of post drivers echoes into the […]

Shower Mom With Wishes For Her Health and Well-Being

Happy Mother’s Day! This month we get to pause and reflect on the wonderfulness of the world’s Moms. They listen to our woes. They’re patient. They’re unconditionally fierce in their love. And fearless in their support of their family’s health and well-being. But sometimes, in caring for us, they forget to nurture their own best […]

4 Tips To Help You Discuss Your Mental Health with Your Doctor

You talk to your friends about your life, your frustrations and they offer advice. Your friends know you well, and it’s easy to find comfort in talking about your deepest fears and troubles with people you trust. As a psychiatrist, patients enter my office with some awareness that they may need assistance to get unstuck. […]

Breaking Stigmas With Education: FAQS On Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

As a psychiatrist, I often come across confusion around my field of work: behavioral health. In my experience, people want to learn more, but don’t know where to start. People wonder, what do I ask? What do I need to know? What if I sound ignorant asking? I thought it would be helpful to collect […]

How Nurses Helped Me Care For My Aging Parents

I have the privilege of leading a large percentage of the more than 400 nurses employed by Blue Cross NC in my role as Vice President of Care Management. To recognize the work of these incredible professionals across our company and beyond during National Nurses Week, I wanted to share a personal story of how […]

How Your Mental Health Affects Your Physical Health

The link between mental health and physical health is often misunderstood. They’re often thought of as separate entities, but the two go hand in hand. In fact, the World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. The perceived disconnect between “mind” and “body” creates the misconception that mental […]

Stressed Out? A Hike Can Be Good For Your Health

Four years ago I started an after-work hiking program for folks who sat at a desk all day. I knew that getting out on the trail will be good for them. As an author and a hiking expert, I have always tried to encourage others to give hiking a try. I’ve always thought it was […]

How to Quit Sugar Without Going Crazy

Recently I decided to try an experiment and give up sugar for a week to see what happens. I liked the results so much that I kept going with it a while longer. After two weeks, I’d lost 5 pounds just by going sugar-free! My tummy shrunk down, plus I felt better – more alert […]

The Importance of Play After Hurricane Florence

What is your favorite childhood game? Tag? Dodgeball? Red rover? For me, it was capture the flag. I have fond memories of running through the woods in my neighborhood with my team of friends in search of the opposing team’s flag. Play was an important part of my childhood, just as it is should be […]

This Employee shares her son’s opioid journey

Betsy Idol was a good mom. Her son, Cameron, was a good boy. They went to church. He was a Boy Scout. He learned the Bible. He was on the wrestling team. But he also fell in with the wrong crowd. And experimented with drugs. And struggled with his parents’ separation. Cameron moved out of […]

Expert tips for getting started with a walking program

Spring in North Carolina is the perfect time to go for a walk. After the long winter, naturally we are drawn to the outdoors to enjoy the warm weather, fresh air and beautiful scenery. Walking is one of the simplest and best exercises there is. For those of us who are able-bodied it’s easy — […]

Know the ABC’s of Medicare Now, and be Prepared to Sign Up Later

Maybe you’re a couple of years away from 65 and aren’t quite ready to think about Medicare. Maybe it’s because you’ve heard it can be daunting to figure out the different “Parts” — the A, B, C and D of it. What do they mean? What’s it all about? Scarlett O’Hara famously said, “I’ll think […]

Training The Next Generation of Emergency Responders in NC

North Carolina has seen a dramatic increase in substance misuse and opioid overdose rates in recent years. Since 2010, for example, deaths resulting from heroin overdoses in North Carolina have increased by 884 percent. This increase accelerates the need for adequately trained emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. Investing in North Carolina’s Rural Communities  To help […]

Depression: Recognize the symptoms and seek care

Depression is common, affecting approximately 16 million, or almost 7%, of Americans each year.[1] People of any age, both adults and youth, may experience depression.  Depression is caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms of depression include sadness, hopelessness or difficulty enjoying things that usually bring pleasure.  Young people with depression may […]

Heart Rate Up = Anxiety Down: How exercise can help ease anxiety and depression

Approximately 1 in 5 Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year[1].  With depression and anxiety at the top of that list, we as a nation are continuously searching for new and more effective ways to better manage these health issues.  As support tools become more accessible, a coping mechanism that can easily be […]

RO-Why? VO-Why? Communicating Program Value Based on Your Leader’s “Why”

Chances are if you have spent any time in the employee wellness realm then you are familiar with the term Value of Investment (VOI). There is much discussion in the field on the benefits of moving away from a strictly Return on Investment (ROI) evaluation when measuring whether your wellness program is successful or not. […]

Your employee’s financial well-being IS your business. And here’s why

Our health and well-being is made up of several different domains: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial. Although each very different, they all interconnect and can impact each other. One correlation that may not be quite as apparent is the connection between our mental and financial health. An imbalance in one can greatly affect the […]

We can do better to support working parents

As the Chief People Officer at Blue Cross NC, a lot of my job involves talking to employees, really listening to what struggles they are having, and working with my team to create innovative solutions to how we, as a company, can help our employees live their best lives. A lot of the people I […]

Medicare Options: The High Cost of Low Premiums

I came across a comic illustration one day where an older patient was being examined by his doctor.  When it came time for the doctor to measure his patient’s blood pressure, the doctor said, “I want to take your blood pressure… so try not thinking about your health insurance premiums.”  I admit I got a […]

What Does Chinese New Year Mean To You?

Growing up, I wished my family observed the same American holidays all the neighborhood families celebrated. Instead, we honored cultural traditions like Chinese New Year, when no one else around us recognized such foreign customs. Growing Up I grew up several blocks from Detroit’s infamous 8 Mile (as popularized by the movie of the same […]

A Portion Control Trick To Enjoy Your Favorite Treats

When I first started my weight loss journey, there were two things I loved most when it comes to junk food: potato chips and chocolate. Used to be, that was always my dieting downfall. I’d make a list for weight loss: NO chips. No this, no that. But we all know what happens the minute […]

Our Employee Was Inspired To Hack New Ways To Solve Opioid Misuse

Opioid misuse is a big problem in North Carolina. Over the past year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has made significant progress in solving the problem. This issue, which touches every corner of our state, inspired one Blue Cross NC employee to act, or should we say “hack.” On […]

Keeping Your Eyes on Diabetes: Diabetic Eye Health

Did you know diabetes can cause eyesight problems? In fact, diabetic eye disease, or retinopathy, is the leading cause of eyesight impairment or blindness in working-age adults. It can be prevented.  Caring for your eye health is vital. What is diabetic eye disease? The most common complication is harm to the blood vessels in the […]

Daylight Savings Time: after work adventures

When we switch to Daylight Saving Time in the spring, the focus typically is on the downside, that we need to get up an hour earlier for work, that the sun gets to sleep longer than we do. What we should focus on is what’s happening on the other end — one extra hour of […]

Tips to Navigate Difficult Conversations with Your Doctor

A visit to the doctor can sometimes be overwhelming. Doctors often provide a lot of complex information in a short amount of time. This may leave you confused. However, it’s important to remember that you and your doctor work as a team. Letting your doctor know what you want or don’t want is a critical […]

Smart tips for exercising while pregnant

If you are a healthy pregnant woman, exercise is great for your overall health. Moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, keeps your heart and lungs healthy. Physical activity also helps improve your mood throughout pregnancy, and postpartum. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), […]

Three Ways to Spring Clean Your Health

Every spring, many of us turn our attention to the often daunting—but rewarding—task of spring cleaning. Normally, spring cleaning is associated with tidying up your household, organizing your closets, cleaning out the fridge or the garage, or sometimes even taking steps to address your financial health. But what about spring cleaning for our mental and physical […]

5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk for Stroke

The premature death of Luke Perry at age 52 came as a shock to everyone. Although the origin of his stroke has not been released, death by a stroke is among the top five killers in the United States. While also a shocking statistic, it’s the reality we face. What does that mean for you?  […]

Open for play: Our 10th KaBOOM! build

Editor’s note: This story originally published in 2017. Take a look back at our 10th Kaboom! build in Kinston, North Carolina with chef Vivian Howard.  … About nine months ago, days after Hurricane Matthew tore through Eastern North Carolina, more than 200 Kinston residents packed sandbags in Pearson Park, right on the edge of downtown. […]

Want to find a Key to Unlocking Good Health? Look to Communities

Asheville area women training to become doulas. Photo courtesy of the Mountain Area Health Education Center. There are many rewarding aspects of my job. One that is particularly gratifying is that I have the privilege of serving as chairman of the independent Blue Cross NC Foundation, which to date has invested more than $133 million […]

5 exercises to relieve neck discomfort

If sitting at a desk with your tablet or laptop, use a tabletop stand that will bring your device up to eye level, and make sure it is directly in front of you rather than off to the side. In addition, be sure to take regular stretch breaks during the workday. Secondly, exercises can help […]

An Employee’s Story: Spoken Word to Honor Dr. King and a Legacy of Service

This year my family participated in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s (Blue Cross NC) first on-site Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. The day was full of different service projects that benefited nonprofit partners in our community. I was so excited when I heard about this event. Sharing meaningful activities with […]

What it’s really like to lose a lot of weight: The good and the bad

I’m celebrating the tenth anniversary of my weight loss and healthy living transformation. Up until then, my weight was constantly up and down, by as much as 100 pounds. I yo-yo dieted and had trouble sticking with exercise. But finally, all that changed. And today, I’m a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, helping others […]

Maternal Deaths Are On The Rise, Here’s How To Track Your Health

Welcoming a new baby is a joyous time for the entire family. The diapers are stacked, the nursery is decorated and new parents are as ready as they can be. The ride to the hospital is filled with adrenaline as mom anticipates holding the baby she has carried so preciously for all these months. But […]

These simple steps can help you cope with Gestational Diabetes

When your doctor calls and leaves a message while you are pregnant you know something isn’t right. After completing my one-hour fasting glucose test (the diabetes test where you drink the sickeningly sweet drink and then get blood drawn an hour later) my doctor called me to let me know I needed to come back […]

5 things to know about depression after having a baby

Feeling sad, overly anxious and restless are all symptoms of postpartum depression. Though this condition can only be diagnosed by a doctor, there are a few things to look for in mothers after giving birth. If you notice this behavior in yourself or in a loved one, call a health care provider.   Risk factors […]

Planning or expecting a baby? Ask your insurer these questions now

The cost of having a baby can be over $20,000. To put it into perspective that’s about one year of tuition from a public university. While we recognize health insurance and medical care is expensive, not having insurance can be devastating. Health insurance reduces the financial burden because of the insurer’s bargaining power with medical […]

Getting to the heart of it: Does heart rate matter for your workout?

Wearable fitness trackers are a huge fitness trend that keeps growing. Many of today’s models include heart rate tracking. Fitness watches like Fitbit and Apple Watch monitor your heart rate while exercising and at rest, in addition to calculating daily steps, mileage and other data. Fitness trackers have come a long way since the glorified […]

Warning Signs for Parents Concerned About Teenage Opioid Abuse

The opioid epidemic gripping North Carolina is not only affecting adults or users of street drugs or illegal narcotics. Prescription opioid medications are responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.[1] In 2017 alone, more than five North Carolinians died each day from an accidental overdose. That same year approximately 15 percent of N.C. […]

Our CIO on her dream job, women in tech, and what’s on her nightstand

The NC Technology Association (NC Tech) sat down with our own Chief Information Officer Jo Abernathy, who recently joined NC Tech’s Board of Advisors. As CIO, Jo is responsible for our technology strategy and operations. But that’s not all she’s passionate about. Jo’s a champion for employee engagement and women in STEM. Get to know […]

Understanding what you owe after receiving care just got easier

We often hear from customers that health care is too confusing or too complicated. We hear you. We know that benefits can be hard to understand and sorting through all the paperwork can be burdensome. Each day we’re working to make health care easier for you, and we’re excited to announce that we’re taking a […]

Our parental benefits meant the world to one new mom

Samantha Kelly was expecting a baby in August 2018. What she wasn’t expecting was for her husband to get a new job, her family to move to a new home in a different state, a diagnosis of postpartum preeclampsia, and for her community to be hit by two hurricanes all within a few weeks of […]

How Much Added Sugar is Too Much?

You’ve heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But do you know what kinds of foods may actually send you to the doctor? Fats? Carbs? Recent data shows that sugar is actually the real troublemaker for your health. Even superstars Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are focused on consuming less sugar. With […]

Using a Village to Solve NC’s Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic continues to touch every corner of our state, but Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is making progress in solving the problem. In the past year, we have… Began limiting first-time prescriptions of short-acting opioids to a seven-day maximum supply. This is meant to lower the risk […]

Burn calories while you cook: An exercise routine you can do in your kitchen

We’re all busy with work, family, and life. Sometimes we just have to fit in exercise when — and where — we can. Here’s a simple, quick cardio and strength circuit routine that works your full body. You can do it in your kitchen while dinner’s cooking. No equipment is needed, and there’s no getting […]

Consider This: Wellness Thoughts for 2019

I recently read an article from SelfHelpWorks called “US Wellness Program Considerations for 2019”.1 With a fresh new year ahead of us and learnings from the last planted in our minds, articles such as this one provide me with a great perspective on employers’ thoughts about their wellness programs. From my seat, SelfHelpWorks articulates what […]

5 Ways To Help Keep Your Employees Engaged In Your Wellness Programs

“New Year, New You!” A common phrase we hear accompanied by a list of resolutions. Whether it’s to exercise more, lose weight, eat healthily, quit smoking or spend less, most resolutions are made with the intent of bettering ourselves and improving our overall health and well-being. Starting with a clean slate on January 1st gets […]

Eat Clean at Work – An Employer’s Guide

New Year’s resolutions. A fresh start for a new year. Many employees view the New Year as a time to begin afresh with goals for well-being. Often, these goals revolve around food and improving their diet. Cleanses, detoxes, and the like are frequently talked about this time of year. While many of these types of […]

Carrots and Sticks: Incentives in Workplace Wellness

Are you considering using incentives in your employee wellness program, or revisiting your incentives strategy? Incentive programs can be an effective part of a comprehensive wellness strategy. Incentives can boost engagement in activities, like taking a health assessment or participating in a fitness challenge. However, reward programs that tie incentives to clinical outcomes (such as a […]

Introducing Blue Premier: Redefining What is Possible in Health Care

Health care is evolving at a rapid pace and we recognize that this can leave North Carolinians with tough choices to make. For 85 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has remained committed to advocating for our customers on issues of health care costs and access to care. Better […]

5 Ways to Get Fit on a Budget

When we think about working out, usually a pricey gym membership or an expensive piece of equipment comes to mind. But getting in shape doesn’t have to break your budget. There are plenty of low-cost and free ways you can exercise. Here are some ideas to help you get fit for less. Make the outdoors […]

5 Reasons Your New Year’s Resolutions Fail – and How to Fix It

Every year, losing weight and getting in shape top the lists of most Americans’ New Year’s resolutions. Walk into any gym across the country during the first week in January, and you’ll find it full of newcomers. By the end of the month, the crowd numbers have thinned. The same can’t be said for the […]

Start 2019 Off On The Right Foot With A New Year’s Day Hike

New Year’s Resolutions date back some 4,000 years, to the ancient Babylonians, who for their New Year (which began in mid-March), used the occasion to settle debts to their gods and return borrowed stuff to their neighbors. Setting a clean slate is a concept that’s stuck.  It’s a resolution that we often leap into. Fully […]

How to Manage Stress During the Holidays and Beyond

For some, the holiday season is about spending time with family and friends, rest, relaxation. But if you’re like many Americans, the reality is that the holidays can leave you feeling stressed. A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found 38 percent of people said their stress level actually raises during the holidays. Apart […]

Blue Connect Helps You Navigate Your Health Care Plan

Health is so important, it’s no surprise that there are more than 97,000 apps in the marketplace related to health and fitness — and the demand continues to increase. Health care apps empower people with more knowledge and control over important medical decisions. Blue Connect Mobile from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina […]

Share Your Holiday with Families in Need

For many of us, the holidays slow everything down. They bring time with family, a fire in the fireplace, laughter, and festive music on the radio. We trade presents, recipes, and stories over hot chocolate.   But for some, the holidays can be expensive and time-consuming. When resources are limited, this can be a lot […]

Sensory Friendly Nutcracker Spreads Holiday Cheer For All

Every parent has been there. The kids are fussy and they won’t sit still. Suddenly, they discover the sound of their own voice in a store or somewhere really public – it’s loud. You laugh to keep from crying and smile because they are so proud of themselves.  As you struggle to finish up your […]

Passing Rebates Back to Customers to Lower Drug Costs

Over the past five years, drug costs as a percent of total health care dollars have increased 30 percent. These increases have caused prescription drugs to become more costly for many individuals and families. To help, starting January 1, 2019, Blue Cross NC will be passing back drug rebates directly to customers when they buy […]

New Year’s resolutions? How about December resolutions!

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution: Don’t wait until the new year to start living healthier. Start now! Heading into the holiday season is the perfect time to resolve to live a healthier, more active life. For starters, think of all the holiday damage you’ll avoid (or at least minimize) if you change your ways pronto. […]

Our Registered Nurses Help Find Solutions For You

If you have a complex health challenge, you know how hard it can be. You might be juggling visits with three or four different doctors. You likely have a lot of prescriptions to handle. You might have questions about your health problem or treatment plan. Or, you may be struggling to stick to new lifestyle […]

Leading the Way with WELCOA

Today, building successful employee wellness programs and creating a culture of health at the workplace is rarely discussed without also mentioning the importance of leadership support in doing so. In fact, the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), one of America’s most trusted resources for workplace wellness [1], places “Committed and Aligned Leadership” as their first of seven […]

Is the middle where the magic happens?

Odds are you’ve heard how critical middle management support can be to the success of your wellness program. Wellness and human resource professionals, executives and middle managers themselves understand the vital role they play in the job satisfaction of their employees. And while we talk about this a lot, I’m not sure we’ve equipped our […]

How to Use Informal Leaders to Engage Your Population

You have tried and tried to engage your employee population, but you are only one person!  Wellness programming is one of many hats you wear, so having an effective communication strategy can be a daunting task or even nonexistent.  How can you get the word out about what’s going on in your wellness program and […]

3 Ways Leadership is Undermining Your Wellness Efforts (and What to Do About It!)

You have the best intentions. You plan a fun and informative wellness activity. You promote it and even send reminders. But when the day arrives, only a small number of people show up. What went wrong? Was it the topic? Was it the location or time? While these are important factors to consider, there is […]

Lose it for good this time: My 10 best fitness and weight loss tips

I recently celebrated my 10th “Fitiversary” – the anniversary of starting my weight loss and fitness transformation. What a milestone! Today, I’m a Certified Personal Trainer, helping others in their own journeys. People always seem shocked when they find out I used to weigh nearly 100 pounds more than I do now, or that I […]

No Time To Visit A Doctor? Not A Problem With Telehealth

Two days before a big family trip, your allergies begin to flare. You know what type of medicine you need, it just requires a prescription. You try to set up an appointment with your primary care physician. No appointments are available. You have so much on your plate to complete before your trip. You don’t […]

Expanding Domestic Violence Resources in Rural NC Counties

In the United States, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. In one year, this adds up to more than 10 million women and men[1]. Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence in their lifetime[2], and most cases of domestic violence are never […]

Our employees give their best tips for healthy holidays

I’ve been working hard the past several months to shed a few pounds. Truth is, I lost weight last year for my 40th birthday (you may have read about it here), and gained it back. Plus extra. It happens. This summer I knew it was time for a change. I joined Weight Watchers at Work, […]

Charlotte Mom Opens Up About Son’s Opioid Overdose

Oct. 8, 2017, started off a normal, pleasant evening in the suburban home of Michele Trantham, a national account client manager in Charlotte for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). Her son, Connor, was home for the fall after two years at East Carolina University. Around 10:30 p.m., she polished […]

How To Avoid Gaining Weight Over The Holidays

The holidays are here! ‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry. With parties and seasonal treats galore, many people resign themselves to putting on a few extra pounds, and figure they’ll just deal with it in a New Year’s resolution. But with a little pre-planning, you can enjoy yourself without adding to your […]

Thankful For A New Way To Eat This Thanksgiving

The holidays are a time of giving, family, laughter, and more importantly – food. Many of our most anticipated gatherings center around delicious, decadent, indulgent dishes. For many, these meals bring a sense of comfort and warmth. But the foods we hold so dear to our hearts (and our stomachs) can also be unhealthy. A […]

Rest Stop Stretches To Help You Feel Great While Traveling

The holiday season brings us together with family and friends, which can mean long road trips. While most of us enjoy the opportunity to travel, it can be hard on the body – leaving you aching and tired. You can find relief by stretching the muscles that tense up after hours in the car. Remember […]

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Drug Prices Are Nuts

If you were going to draw up an economy that makes absolutely no sense, you’d start with a system where prices go up as demand goes down. That’s nuts, right? Welcome to the world of prescription drug pricing. Data from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) and the Blue Cross […]

How To Talk With Your Loved Ones About Your Wishes For End-of-Life Care

A few years ago, my husband and I completed our living wills. Our attorney has a copy, and the other copy is in a fire-safe in our closet. I shared with my son where these documents were located. As a young adult, he questioned why he needed this information. “Mom,” he said, “Nothing is going […]

Addressing Maternal Health Will Make a Healthier NC

As a practicing pediatrician, Dr. Patrick Conway knows what it takes to keep kids healthy. And that starts with the health of mothers and babies. “When it comes to maternal and newborn health, knowledge is a powerful and lifesaving tool,” says Dr. Conway. “There has to be an increase in access to prenatal resources and […]

Why the Workplace is an Effective Place to Tackle Diabetes

For many of us, a large part of the day is spent at work; in fact, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime.[1]  It’s safe to say a job can make a huge impact on one’s quality of life. Given the amount of time one spends at work, this gives employers a valuable opportunity to help an […]

Poor dental health can be a danger for people with diabetes

Your smile isn’t just about looking good. It can say a lot about your overall health. If you or any of your employees are one of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes1, it is even more important. Diabetics are at a higher risk for gum disease and other oral problems. They are generally […]

Sleep – the unsung hero in the management of your health care dollar

It is common knowledge that weight and nutrition play a role in type 2 diabetes. What is far less known, however, is the link between sleep and its role in not only worsening diabetes but also in putting others at risk of developing it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more […]

Do this, not that – How to plan a meeting and keep blood sugars in mind

While we know the path to managing blood sugars and controlling diabetes is made of countless small decisions and behaviors an individual makes, many of these decisions happen during the workday making the workplace an important part of the journey. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to support your employees on their journey […]

The Opioid Epidemic: Access Expands for Medication-Assisted Treatment

One way to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic is to ensure that people have access to safe therapies that treat opioid use disorder. To that end, Blue Cross NC is taking steps to help patients get the care they need while ensuring their safety. On Nov. 1, we stopped requiring doctors to get […]

North Carolina Can’t Wait Any Longer for Value-Based Health Care

During my first few months as chief strategy and innovation officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), I’ve been struck by the energy behind transforming health care in North Carolina. And it was inspiring to see 160 business leaders show up recently at Triangle Business Journal’s Health Care Summit […]

Technology Dream Becomes Real For Service Employees

People and culture are important elements of what makes IT (information technology) different here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). Our employees Phoenix Smith and Greg Taylor have built solid careers in Core Service. But they couldn’t keep their minds off IT. It became a passion that neither of […]

5 Fun and Easy Ways to Exercise in the Fall

Fall is the perfect season for outdoor fun here in North Carolina. Temperatures are finally comfortable. The air is fresh and crisp with low humidity. The scenery is stunning, from the colorful mountains to the sunny shore. Plus, with every fall weekend chock-full of events there’s never a shortage of things to do and see […]

Trump Administration Medicare Drug Price Announcement Is a Good First Step – Here’s Why It Matters

We welcome the Trump Administration’s recent announcement of a pilot effort to rein in Medicare spending on prescription drugs. This is a reasonable first step toward getting spiraling drug prices under control. After all, prescription drug spending is growing faster than any other category of health care costs. As part of this pilot, Medicare will […]

It’s ACA Open Enrollment Time Again. Here Are 4 Things You Need to Know.

Those lower premiums are thanks to a number of factors, including the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that allow us to pass the tax savings onto our customers. In addition, we’ve entered a new arrangement with UNC Health Alliance to be our exclusive provider for our Blue Value Plan.

5 Ways Blue Cross NC is Making Health Care Easier to Understand

Health care is complex. We get it. Figuring out terms like deductible, in-network, coinsurance, and prior authorization isn’t easy. So, we’re working to make all of our materials easier to read and quicker to understand. We have rewritten hundreds of web pages, letters, brochures, and other materials.  Here are 5 ways we’re making health care […]

One of The Lucky Ones – A Survivor’s Story

Kelly Hill, a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) medical director, did not have any of the typical risk factors for breast cancer. She was 41 years young, in great shape with a healthy diet, and she had no family history of the disease. Her only potential risk factor? Being […]

Three Tips To Avoid Extra Costs For Preventive Care

Scheduling routine preventive care is essential to staying healthy. It can also help your doctors detect and treat health problems early.  Certain routine preventive care services are covered with no out-of-pocket costs in many Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) plans.  If you’re not sure if you are eligible for […]

The Future of Health Care is at Your Fingertips

  The rise of health care consumerism The rise of the empowered shopper is shifting the way patients interact with the health care industry. No longer are patients passively receiving health care. Instead, they are taking charge of their own health and becoming empowered health care consumers. The modern-day health care shopper wants: more straightforward […]

Do You Know What Your Body Mass Index Is?

Body mass index (better known as BMI) is a measurement – based on a person’s height and weight – used to indicate if a person is underweight, overweight or obese. Knowing your BMI is an easy and quick way to target a healthy weight.

Get To Know Healthy Blue

If you have questions about Healthy Blue NC, please email us at healthyblue@bcbsnc.com. We are in the midst of a huge health care transformation in North Carolina. With deep community roots, we aim to treat every North Carolinian like family. As an extension of our natural mission to improve the health and well-being of our […]

What you need to know for Medicare Open Enrollment

  If you’re approaching the age of 65, in addition to considering life without an alarm clock, you need to consider your health insurance options very carefully.  A form of Medicare most likely will be your main health insurance. Because there are so many options, it can be complicated.  I’ll break the basics down and […]

Medicare Advantage Plans now offer no cost gym memberships and hearing benefits

We recently announced great news about our 2019 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans! Rates will be lowered for these plans on average 30 percent! But that’s not all! Customers in these plans will have no cost gym memberships and coverage for hearing exams and aids. No Cost Gym Membership The Silver & Fit exercise and healthy […]

Designed By Kids, It’s Time To Play in Rocky Mount

You’ve probably heard of the term “the butterfly effect.” It’s basically how one small act can set off a chain of events that can lead to something really big. That’s what I was thinking about when I was in the eastern North Carolina town of Rocky Mount recently with about 200 other volunteers, building a […]

Rising in Popularity: Addressing Emotional Wellness

There is considerable focus on wellness: preventing illness, keeping people healthy and improving quality of life. However, our emotional well-being is often overlooked. People spend more time at work than anywhere else, but just because they go to work doesn’t mean they’ve left their worries at home. Anxieties crowd out focused work time, and hospital visits […]

How to Recognize When Your Employees Need Help

Now more than ever it is likely that your employees need help. The pressures and demands they feel are leading to burnout and breakdown at a record-breaking pace. When employees remain overwhelmed for an extended period of time, they are susceptible to developing a mental illness or experiencing heightened symptoms of an existing mental illness. […]

Is An Email Policy The Solution For Sunday Scaries?

When was the last time your organization talked about emails after work hours? For many, answering emails after-hours is standard procedure. And with today’s technology, staying connected 24/7 is easier than ever with smartphones in our pockets, and an increasingly mobile workforce carrying a laptop wherever they go. But at what cost? While employees have […]

Breaking down the stigma, building up employees

Are you, or someone you love, the 1 in 5?  Twenty percent of all adults live with a mental health condition: anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and many others 2,3. Mental health conditions are common throughout the United States, affecting over 40 million Americans,[1] and 10 million of those individuals live in North Carolina.[2] […]

We’re Making Health Care Simple and Personal

Simplifying health care and treating our members like family is a top priority and that’s why we’re opening three physical centers in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Boone. [button link=”#https://www.bluecrossnc.com/centers”] Walk-ins are welcome at all of our center locations. But, to save you time, schedule an appointment here. [/button] Our friendly Blue Cross and Blue Shield of […]

It’s time to go camping (and we’re here to help)

If you didn’t grow up in an outdoorsy family — where mom and dad would load the crew into the Country Squire for a week of tent camping — the prospect of taking your own family out for a weekend of “roughing it” may seem daunting. What do I take? Where will we go? What […]

N.C. Communities Are On The Front Lines of The Opioid Epidemic

Community leaders, public health experts, and others across North Carolina are on the front lines of dealing with the state’s opioid epidemic. And that’s a good thing. A growing body of evidence, including efforts by North Carolina county leaders, suggests that results will come when local communities develop local solutions to the crisis.  For that […]

North Carolina Has an Opioid Problem, How Did We Get Here?

“We are often loathe to give liberal amounts of narcotics because the drug addiction itself may become a hideous spectacle.” Those words were written by Warren Cole, MD, FACS, in 1956 for a book describing cancer pain treatment in the mid-20th century. In Dr. Cole’s day, physicians were trained to prescribe pain medications sparingly, or […]

The Facts about Falling

The first day of Fall is also is Falls Prevention Awareness Day! Although you may think that falling is minor, the fact is that falls can cause serious injuries and death, especially among the elderly. So, it’s important to know the facts about fall-related injuries and tips to prevent falling. Did You Know? More than […]

How parents can help kids be fit and healthy

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States, putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obesity affects about 13.7 million youth aged 2-19 years, with the highest percentages affecting Latino and African American populations. Why is this a problem? Today’s […]

Save Your Sick Days By Getting A Flu Shot

Build your wellness – get the flu shot!  Every year catching the flu can devastate health and cause days lost from work. The seasonal flu impacts life itself – 389 North Carolina citizens died from flu or flu-related complications during the 2017-18 flu season.  People with underlying chronic health conditions, including those who may be […]

Q&A: Tobacco Use Incentives and Penalties

Organizations have always been talking about tobacco, but the conversation amplified when federal rules were put in place. Since then we’ve received a lot of questions surrounding tobacco cessation, incentives, and penalties. While we recommend that you always consult your company’s compliance and legal teams, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions: […]

4 things you need to consider about electronic cigarettes

When was the last time you updated your worksite wellness policy? Does it only include smoking? Or all tobacco use? What about electronic cigarettes? Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, are different from traditional cigarettes because they deliver nicotine as an aerosol for inhalation, also called vaping, while cigarettes include the combustion of tobacco.[i] Despite the buzz […]

One Giant Leap For Your Organization’s Health

I have met with countless employers who would like to make their workplace tobacco-free. We are all aware of why this is an important strategy, but employers often don’t know where to begin. This is a big step for a workplace and should be treated accordingly. The employer and the employee will need to adapt […]

Coming together to confront food insecurity

As Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) President and CEO, Dr. Patrick Conway visits counties across the state, he shares this core value, “increasing access to good food in our communities is an important part of improving overall health in North Carolina.” North Carolina is the 10th hungriest state in […]

Investing in the Early Development of our Future Leaders

The early years of childhood can be the most influential years in a person’s life. This is the time where children first begin to observe the world around them, build relationships and understand emotion. A child’s quality of life influences their ability to succeed as adults. Investing in resources for young North Carolinians to build […]

What is Medication Management? Tips to help you stay organized

Medication management is the process of staying up-to-date on the medications you are taking. The term “medication” refers to any prescribed, over-the-counter, dietary supplements, vitamins, herbals, or other substances you are taking to help manage or maintain your health.[1] Why is it important? Over 60% of seniors have multiple chronic conditions and nearly 20% of […]

Tips To Help You Get Started With Morning Exercise

As a Certified Personal Trainer with a slim physique, people always seem shocked when they find out I used to weigh nearly 100 pounds more than I do now, or that I ever had a hard time sticking with exercise. Yet indeed I did (read: My weight loss story).  This fall, I celebrate 10 years […]

The Future of Farming in West Charlotte

West of Uptown Charlotte, the Historic West End is home to some of Charlotte’s oldest African-American neighborhoods. Anchoring the West End is Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), originally founded in 1867 to teach freed slaves, and now a thriving urban university. Rooted in the tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, JCSU has earned a […]

What you need to know about our 2019 ACA plans

We are lowering health care costs for many of our individual ACA customers. Statewide, we are lowering rates by an average of 4.1 percent. [button link=”http://mediacenter.bcbsnc.com/news/blue-cross-nc-unc-health-alliance-agreement-lowers-triangle-aca-rates-by-more-than-21-percent” type=”icon” color=”lightblue”] We reached an agreement with UNC Health Alliance to lower individual ACA rates in the Greater Triangle Region by more than 21% before subsidies. Benefits are staying […]

You Have Questions About Opioids in North Carolina – We Have Answers

Over the past year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has tried to foster a conversation with consumers about the opioid epidemic…

LPGA Leadership Academy challenges girls to Live Fearless

What does it mean to Live Fearless? Facing challenges bravely and confidently? Taking on a new adventure?   There are many ways to Live Fearless and 40 girls were recently challenged by this concept at the LPGA Leadership Academy in Pine Needles, NC. Leadership starts with mentorship  The LPGA Leadership Academy presented by Blue Cross […]

DPI fights summer hunger with healthy meals for students

For many kids, summer means swimming, hours of playtime and fun in the sun. But summer also presents a challenge for children across our state who count on their schools for healthy meals. Hunger at Home  During the 2016-2017 school year, more than 680,000 North Carolina students participated in free or reduced-price lunch programs. They depend […]

5 Steps to a successful event

After the amount of time spent planning and preparing for a wellness event, there are few things more frustrating than low employee participation. But the truth of the matter is, we’ve all been there. Whether your event attendance is stellar or you could use some improvement, it’s always worthwhile to walk through these 5 steps […]

Take two of these and call me in the morning

Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?  There are millions of cells in the immune system, and it seems like there are equally as many products promising to protect them. Your employees are targeted with marketing campaigns and advertisements for supplements, teas, and many other immune-boosting solutions. But is there something that […]

Fight the Flu with On-site Vaccinations

Albert Einstein is frequently credited for saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” However, after many influenza, or “flu,” seasons and lots of research under its belt, the Center for Diseases and Control Prevention (CDC) still stands by the fact that a yearly flu […]

Celebrating 85 years of health coverage in NC

Do you remember when the Carolinas didn’t have an NFL team to call our own? We come together to cheer for the Carolina Panthers. How about a work commute before the I-440 and 540 loops were built to connect the growing Raleigh-Durham region? For 85 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has […]

Stressed out? Get moving!

For most of us, stress is a part of life. Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). 40% of workers find their jobs very stressful, […]

Sticking with you through ACA ups and downs

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) came to North Carolina in 2014. It has had its ups and downs. But we stayed in when times were tough, and you stayed with us. Through it all, we were led by our mission of improving the health and well-being of our customers and communities. Now today, we are […]

Preventive Health – It’s Not Just for Kids

The good news is, Americans agree nearly unanimously on two things. The bad news is, one of those things is potentially dangerous: It’s vital for children to get routine exams. Check-ups don’t really matter much after childhood. Health screenings are crucial not only to gauging kids’ health as they grow, but they also allow health […]

Get Paid to Shop – For Health Care

You wouldn’t buy a plane ticket without knowing the real cost. But that’s what many North Carolinians do when it comes to their health care. We know that navigating the health care system and figuring out what you can expect to pay, is one of the most complex and frustrating issues that many of us […]

Fighting Breast Cancer with Genetic Testing

Genetic testing continues to revolutionize the way oncologists treat breast cancer. New studies have emerged showing that genetic tests can help determine whether chemotherapy is necessary for individuals in the early stages of breast cancer. Armed with this vital information, early detection, and treatment other than chemotherapy may offer revolutionary treatment for women. It can improve […]

School Lunch Debt Takes a Bite out of Supplies, Learning Materials

“When that hungry child walks up to you with a tray of food and no money, what are you going to do?” That’s how Erselle Young explains managing the lunch debt in her school system. “That child has already been through hours of classes and they have to get through the rest of the day. […]

Addiction In The Triangle: Up Close And Personal

You may not know where the Healing Transitions women’s campus is if you weren’t looking for it. Located near Umstead Park in Raleigh, it’s easy to miss. But for so many in the Triangle, it serves as a safe haven. Ten Blue Cross NCers recently visited Healing Transitions to get a full tour of the […]

On Opioids, North Carolina Is Making Progress

The opioid problem won’t be solved overnight. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make significant progress in the short term here in North Carolina.   A research report called “The Opioid Epidemic in America: An Update” from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) published this week shows that the total number of opioid […]

Tips To Avoid Extra Costs At Your Next Preventive Screening

“I thought preventive care was covered at 100%. Why did I get a bill?” A distraught employee is in your office because they’ve received a bill after their annual physical.  You’ve encouraged and incentivized your employees to receive preventive care because you know that these visits can positively impact the onset and severity of chronic […]

The Truth: Your Eyes Expose Secrets To Health

Did you know an eye exam can do more than measure your eyesight? It can also tell you a lot about your overall health. A comprehensive eye exam with dilation can detect early signs of serious health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more.1 In fact, more than 30 conditions show symptoms [...]

How to exercise safely in the summer heat – and what to do if you’re in trouble

One of the best parts of summer is the opportunity to be active outdoors — whether it’s running, cycling or hiking. It’s also the season for marathons, and when sports teams start practicing for fall. And unfortunately, every year it seems we hear tragic news of a football player losing their life on the field […]

Fueling your kids for summer sports camps

Every year I’ve sent my two kids to summer sports camps.  Many are half-day camps, but as kids reach second grade, the camps might stretch to 8 hours a day for 5 days.  Some can be held outside in the 90-degree heat and high humidity.  I’d challenge adults to do the same thing!  Since sixth […]

3 Ways to revive stagnant preventive care rates

As a Health Promotion Specialist with over 25 years of experience working with organizations, I have routinely heard the same concern from clients, no matter what size. “How can we encourage our staff to get their recommended preventive care screenings in a timely fashion?” Many employers have experienced the rising costs to due to low […]

Scouting Inspires Dad To Go Hiking

Scouting is intended to be a way for kids to expand their horizons, to try new things, to learn a thing or two about themselves. Scouting can be magical Sometimes it works its magic on the parents, too. “While I’ve always enjoyed being outside I never really went out of my way to hike or […]

Self-taught computer programmer sees a problem and solves it

When most people start a brand new job, they sit back and observe, and try not to make waves.  Not Brian Moore. Brian started at Blue Cross  NC in September of 2016 and was in a training class with 17 other newly hired Customer Service Professionals. Our Customer Service Professionals – or CSPs as we […]

A member journey: No more diabetes medications

We all have different goals when it comes to healthy eating. And just like our goals, we also have our own unique motivators. For one Blue Cross NC member, who we will call Rebecca, the drive came from losing members of her family to diabetes. Rebecca’s situation Rebecca was obese. She had type II diabetes […]

Skin Cancer Surprised Me – Don’t Let it Surprise You

There’s a scene in a mid-‘80s movie called Fletch where Chevy Chase is pretending to be a doctor talking about skin cancer: “They said he had a melanoma, carcinoma, some kind of noma.” At the time, I thought that was funny. But a few years later, I learned there’s nothing funny at all about skin […]

A Path to Maintaining Good Health at Care Ring

A few years ago, Jose and his now 4-year-old son moved from Honduras to Charlotte, NC to find a better life.  Jose had lost both of his legs beneath the knee in an automobile accident and was confined to a wheelchair – which made providing for his son, who has cerebral palsy, a difficult and […]

Dad bod: Should you love it or lose it?

Are you rocking a dad bod? That’s a term affectionately coined in recent years to refer to guys with extra padding around the middle. If so, you’re not alone. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 32 percent of American men age 20 to 34 are overweight, 40 percent of 35-44-year-olds, and […]

Buzz off Ticks and Mosquitos!

Summertime is quickly approaching and we all know what that means – warmer weather, longer days and of course, bug bites. While protecting yourself from insects like mosquitos, fleas and ticks are always important, this time of year is especially important. Why? Because illnesses from mosquitos, ticks, and fleas, are on the rise. In fact, […]

Preventing Child Abuse Is A Healthy Investment For All

The foundations of life are literally built in early childhood. A vital and productive society with a prosperous and sustainable future is built on healthy child development. Health in the earliest years—beginning with the future mother’s well-being before she becomes pregnant—lays the groundwork for a lifetime of vitality.  The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of […]

The key to unlocking untapped productivity

There are 480 minutes in the average workday. How are your employees spending them?  New studies show that, during that time, your staff may only be productive for two hours and 53 minutes. Whether they are surfing social media sites, taking smoke breaks or chatting with co-workers, it’s clear that we need a solution for […]

How To Keep Motivation Up After A Challenge

Your company just did a step challenge. Now what? Are you worried your employees will revert to their old ways? Your employees have achieved great success during the challenge and you want to support them as they maintain their new healthy behavior. First, build a strong challenge Challenges have the biggest impact on behavior change […]

Top 5 Exercises You Can Do in the Workplace

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to stretch ourselves so thin that we aren’t able to take time for ourselves. Balancing work and life while still making sure we are taking care of our bodies is tough, but so important!  Exercise is a common “to-do” that continues to get pushed further down our list until […]

Environmental Checklist: How does your Company Measure Up?

Are there barriers to physical activity in your work environment? Do your employees have access to make healthy decisions and increase their movement during the work day? You want an active staff, but there has to be an opportunity for your workforce to engage.  Here are some ways you can provide your staff with an […]

From Army medic to Physician Assistant: Helping transform NC’s medical deserts

Imagine this scenario. You’re in a combat zone. You have to tend to the gunshot wound of a fellow soldier with little more than a bag of medical supplies to help you. It’s not exactly a sterile environment – think desert conditions, sand, and dirt. Then you have to carry this wounded soldier, likely a […]

Successful Mentoring Relationship Tips from Blue Xchange

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington In leading the Blue Cross […]

Celebrate National Trails Day with One of These NC Hikes

The American Hiking Society celebrates National Trails Day on June 2nd. Their website offers resources and community events across the country. We all play a role in leaving our planet in better shape than we found it. In North Carolina, it’s no surprise to see several events planned.  Here’s an interesting fact about the trails […]

How to exercise when you have arthritis

Learn more about our Medicare plans and how to select the right one for you. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis affects over 50 million adults in the U.S., more than 1 in 4. It is one of the most common chronic conditions in the nation, and the number one cause of […]

Doctors Working at an Insurance Company? Yes, and Here’s Why

I’m lucky to have a career in medicine that gives me the chance to see the health care system from a lot of different angles, including the patient and family perspectives. As a pediatrician who is still practicing, I hear directly from parents who are struggling to get the best care for their families – […]

What you need to know about tobacco in 2018

For centuries, tobacco has been a main crop in North Carolina. A lack of soil quality and fewer plantation-style farms helped tobacco farmers thrive. An accident led to the discovery of “bright-leaf”, a form of tobacco preferred by smokers, which caused the state to begin focusing mainly on tobacco and not on other crops. As […]

What Star Wars Can Teach Us About Health

With the release of the new Star Wars movie, our galaxy’s attention turns once again to heroes, villains and the battle against the evil Empire.   The Star Wars movies teach us a lot about courage, friendship, family, even military tactics. But we can also learn a few lessons about health and health care from the […]

Yes, I Have Anxiety but I am Okay

Anxiety, for me, usually starts with a familiar feeling of dread. Some people may notice that their heart begins to beat faster. And then you feel as if you can’t breathe. I know these signs all too well. It’s not always easy to “go to my happy place” but I have learned to remember the […]

Want to have more energy? Skip the Latte and Get Moving

Most people don’t add exercise to their daily to-dos at work, but doing so can help you ace that next work project. Don’t believe me? Here are five ways adding exercise to your workday can help you bring more energy to your work, and after work, life. It can improve your thinking Your brain starts […]

The Truth About Drug Companies’ Influence on Your Doctor’s Prescriptions

These days, it seems like every TV commercial break is filled with nothing but ads for medications. Drug firms spend a lot on marketing. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson – the drug company with the highest annual revenues – spent $17.5 billion on sales and marketing. That’s more than double the $8.2 billion they spent […]

Planting seeds that will last a lifetime

Spring brings boundless opportunities to get outside.  If you’re looking for a new hobby that the whole family can enjoy, consider planting a garden. Why gardening?  Gardening is associated with positive health benefits such as stress relief and even improved immune function1.  Recent studies show that gardening impacts your heart health in more than one […]

Weak Bones, Oh No! – Osteoporosis 101

Since a young age, our parents always stressed the value of having strong bones.

Help Employees Plug In When They Unplug

While this might seem to counter the information you’ve heard about turning off technology before bed, there is one piece of technology you might want to consider encouraging your employees to plug into: their wearable device. Here are two reasons why: Knowledge is power Knowing how much you sleep can help you make better decisions. […]

Wake Up Your Workforce With These Sleep Promoting Ideas

Did you know that in France employees are allowed to ignore emails sent outside of working hours? Or that the state of New York is considering adopting a law that protects employee’s “right to disconnect?” (Thanks, Business Insider!) What are your company’s policies on after work emails? What is your behavior signaling? You can’t tuck […]

Stop Hitting Snooze On The Importance Of Sleep

With 24/7 lifestyles and over 80 different sleep disorders, it’s probable that over 30% of your employees are affected by poor sleep[1]. Poor sleep is generally defined as less than 7 hours of sleep at night, and its residual effects are the stuff of nightmares. It’s time to wake up to the value 7 to […]

Addressing NC’s nursing shortage to improve health care

Nurses play a central role in increasing the value of health care by improving outcomes and lowering costs. They, as some like to say, put the care in health care. Unfortunately, a recent Georgetown University study showed that North Carolina is projected to have the second largest nursing shortage in the country. The deficit? 12,900 […]

How to take care of YOU when you’re the caregiver

Learn more about our Medicare plans and how to select the right one for you. Although being a caregiver can feel isolating, you are not alone. According to the nonprofit Caregiver Action Network (CAN), more than 90 million Americans care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or old age. The Impact on Caregiver Health  […]

How to Unlock Artificial Intelligence in Health Care

At our recent Tech Summit, I spoke about one of technology’s top trends, artificial intelligence. It’s playing a bigger role than ever in health care. You just might not recognize how. From improving health care processes to predicting when you might need to go into the hospital, AI is improving many aspects of the way […]

Announcing $1 million investment into NC A&T nursing program

Leslie Young is a senior at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, NC. She’s about to graduate next month with her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. Nursing was a natural career choice for her, as she comes from a line of A&T Aggie nurses. “My aunt and my cousins – all really important role […]

Our Nurses help you worry less when planning for baby

As a maternity case manager, I get to work with members during one of the most exciting phases of their lives: pregnancy. When I first call a member and explain our program to them, many times they ask: how do I get a breast pump? But giving members facts about their benefits is only a […]

Business Leaders Build Healthy Communities – Literally

Safe, welcoming neighborhoods are central to a healthy community. And that means ensuring access to adequate housing. Beyond being a place to make memories, a home has a measurable impact on our health. But for too many families in the Triangle, home ownership is a dream out of reach.   Blake Strayhorn and his team […]

Can You Dig It? Raleigh City Farm Celebrates Six Years of Urban Farming

On a one-acre plot of land on the corner of Franklin and Blount Streets, Raleigh City Farm (RCF) is teaching the community that food can be grown anywhere – even on a vacant lot in downtown Raleigh. RCF, founded in 2011, is a nonprofit urban farm. Through teaching programs, onsite volunteer work and local produce […]

“Can’t you just do it for me? Just quit, dad!”

Earth Day has always been about respecting our shared planet promoting conservation. Many Americans point to the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, as the turning point from the casual destruction of the environment toward a more responsible stewardship of our world. Earth Day is a day when we try to be more […]

Supporting Future Nurses with a $1 million grant at Winston-Salem State University

Blue Cross NC announced today that it is investing $1 million in Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) Division of Nursing.  The investment is part of Blue Cross NC’s commitment to contribute $50 million toward community health initiatives in 2018 and follows North Carolina Central University and Fayetteville State University announcements.  WSSU will use the investment for […]

Nurses enter to learn and depart to serve at Winston-Salem State University

Micha James knew she was going to college.  She also knew she wanted to serve her community.  She graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a nursing degree and skills that allow her to support Blue Cross and Blue Shield NC (Blue Cross NC) members every day. Born to be a WSSU Ram  Born and raised […]

10 easy ways to get started with exercise this Spring

Spring is finally here! Everything seems to awaken and refresh in the spring. And it’s the perfect time to think about spring cleaning for our bodies, too. If you’ve been hibernating all winter, it’s time to get outside, stretch your legs and start to exercise again. Spring also means that summer fashion and activities aren’t […]

North Carolina Thrives on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The farm-to-fork movement has become trendy in many places around the country, but North Carolina was way ahead of the curve on this. A couple of hundred years ahead. Our state embraced the idea of eating fresh, local foods from its earliest days. It’s a part of our history and culture that we still honor […]

Sound The Alarm: “Our House is On Fire”

It’s early one cold December morning, and my mom rushed in to grab me and my baby sister out of the bed we shared.   A few seconds later, my family – my mom, dad, sister, and me – were standing in our front yard looking on as fire consumed the old house we lived in […]

High Blood Pressure: What You Need to Know about the Silent Killer

As humans, we believe that what we can’t see, can’t hurt us. We are wrong. What we can’t see, can sometimes be the deadliest. This is especially true when it comes to medical conditions and diseases. For years, doctors have been referring to high blood pressure as the “silent killer.” The condition impacting one in […]

3 Incentives that will change your wellness program

As an employer, you are likely searching for ways to engage your workforce in their health and well-being. A healthy lifestyle can positively impact productivity, limit absenteeism and presenteeism, as well as reduce health care spending. Because of this, many organizations offer significant opportunities for employees to manage their health through various types of programming […]

Fit and Frugal: 3 Tips for your next employee newsletter

Are your employees financially fit?  Financial well-being has become a popular wellness program focus.  Your employees face various financial pressures in their lives, so it’s no surprise that financial pressures could not only impact work performance, but also overall health.  Consider highlighting these tips in your next employee newsletter to encourage financial wellness.  “Fit and […]

Why is Financial Wellness Important?

What do health care, food, physical environment, and economic stability have in common? Each is a social determinant of health. If you’re scratching your head, don’t worry — we’ll explain. The impact of social determinants of health for employers  Social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play […]

Five Ways to Protect Yourself Against Insurance Fraud

Credit card scams, identity theft and …  insurance fraud? Yes, it happens. This is of particular concern for seniors, or those who might not regularly use a computer. The North Carolina State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (which administers the plan), are reporting that […]

Ronald McDonald House: The Miracle of Hope

Life changes in an instant.  Many of us can relate to the phone call or conversation that changes everything: a new diagnosis or a devastating accident that turns the world upside down. The families at Ronald McDonald House of Durham & Wake live this story every day.  They come from down the road, across the […]

What is Hashimoto disease? How does it affect those diagnosed?

Over the past few weeks, Hashimoto disease has received an increased amount of online attention. With public figures and celebrities speaking out about their diagnosis, most recently Gigi Hadid, many people are asking – what exactly is this condition and how does it affect those diagnosed? “What is Hashimoto Disease?”  Hashimoto disease is an autoimmune […]

‘Tis the season to be sneezin’, but you don’t need to suffer

Rubbing your eyes or nose nonstop? Sneezing so much people stop saying “bless you?” Speaking with a voice twice as deep from stuffiness? Ah, yes. This must mean it is spring allergy season. I moved to North Carolina less than a year ago. This is my first time in the state for spring allergies. Hey, […]

Changes to our Opioid Policies

Every day, opioid addiction destroys lives and tears apart families in North Carolina. It is a public health emergency that Blue Cross NC is committed to addressing. We’re announcing three policy changes for opioid prescriptions and treatment for opioid dependency. These changes will help prevent addiction, treat dependency, and save lives. The three changes are: […]

Don’t Waste a Cheat Day, Tips for Healthy Lunches

It has been said that lunch is the easiest meal of the day to blow your healthy habits. Sometimes we stop following our behaviors and other times we skip lunch altogether. Why does this matter? Think of lunch like recess – it gives your mind a break and helps you re-energize for the day. It […]

More Mediterranean In Your Diet for Better Senior Health

We are all seeking ways to prevent or slow the progression of diseases.  We take our vitamins and get our annual physicals, but is it enough?  Can A Mediterranean Diet Prevent Dementia?  We may choose a diet to lose weight, but what about eating to prevent diseases like dementia?  Researchers think that a tool for […]

Too Busy to Eat Healthy? Try Meal Prep Vivian Howard’s Way

Celebrity chef Vivian Howard is nationally known for elevating traditional Southern dishes and show