US Family Health Plan eNews 2022 Issue 2

Posted 02/24/22
scheduling an appointment

For more of eNews Member Newsletter


  • Don't Wait…Book Your Medical Appointments Now!d
  • Take Control of Your Blood Pressure with At-Home Monitoring
  • Keep Your Military ID and DEERS Information Up to Date
  • Take Your Statin Medication Correctly to Help Lower Your Cholesterol
  • Diabetes and You!
  • Mental Health & Our Kids
  • Prenatal Vitamins: Many Are Covered!
  • Cervical Cancer: What You Need to Know
  • Chlamydia: What You Need to Know
  • Learn More at Our Women's Health Page!
  • An Ounce of Prevention Can Make All the Difference

  • Don't Wait…Book Your Medical Appointments Now! 

    If you’re like many people, you may be ready to get preventive and/or specialty medical care that you delayed due to the pandemic. As demand increases, getting a timely appointment may be a challenge. Be sure to schedule your 2022 and 2023 preventive cancer screenings (colorectal, breast) and specialist (pulmonology, cardiology, and dermatology) visits now! 

    Take Control of Your Blood Pressure with At-Home Monitoring

    High blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, heart, and kidneys which can lead to serious health problems. Usually, high blood pressure causes no symptoms, so it’s important to measure your blood pressure regularly to find out if it’s high.

    A home blood pressure monitor makes it easy to keep track of your blood pressure. Checking your blood pressure at home doesn’t replace having it checked regularly by your doctor, but it can help you work with your doctor to diagnose and manage any blood pressure issues. 

    How to use a blood pressure monitor at home: 

    • Rest quietly for at least five minutes before measurements. Empty your bladder. Don't smoke, drink caffeinated beverages or exercise within 30 minutes before measuring your blood pressure. 
    • Sit correctly—with your back straight and supported (on a dining chair, rather than a sofa), feet flat on the floor and legs uncrossed. Support your arm on a flat surface with the upper arm at heart level. 
  • Place the cuff on your bare arm with the bottom directly above the bend of the elbow. Check your monitor's instructions for an illustration or have your healthcare provider show you how.
  • Measure at the same time(s) every day, such as morning and evening. It is best to take the readings daily, however ideally beginning 2 weeks after a change in treatment and during the week before your next appointment.
  • Take multiple readings and record the results. Each time, take two or three readings one minute apart and record the results using a tracker. If your monitor has built-in memory to store your readings, take it with you to your appointments. Some monitors may also allow you to upload your readings to a secure website after you register your profile.
    DIASTOLIC mm Hg (lower number)
    ELEVATED 120-129 And LESS THAN 80



    120-139 Or 80-89



     140 or HIGHER Or  90 or HIGHER


    (Consult your doctor immediately)

     HIGHER THAN 180 And/Or  HIGHER THAN 120

    Keep Your Military ID and DEERS Information Up to Date

    As a member of the Martin’s Point US Family Health Plan, we issue you an insurance identification card; however, it is still important to keep your demographic information current in the DEERS database and your Military ID card up to date.

    Your address in DEERS determines your eligibility for all TRICARE® plans, so be sure to update that information anytime you move.

    To update your information, go to MillConnect or call DEERS directly at 1-800-538-9552. Please be sure to update every eligible family member as their information is kept separately within the DEERS database underneath the military sponsor.

    Military ID cards should always be kept up to date. If your card expires, you should contact your local Military ID card office or RAPID site to make an appointment. You can search for your nearest ID card office here. To obtain a new Military ID card, you must bring two forms of unexpired identification and one must be a state- or government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID. You should contact your local ID office prior to your appointment to ensure you have all the required documentation.

    If you are a military retiree or an eligible family member turning 65, you must obtain a new Military ID. It is important to bring your Medicare card that proves you have Medicare Parts A and B if you obtained that coverage. For questions on turning 65 and your status with the US Family Health Plan, please contact Member Services at 1-888-674-8734 (TTY:711).

    Take Your Statin Medication Correctly to Help Lower Your Cholesterol 

    Many people take “statin” medications to help lower cholesterol levels in their blood. If your doctor has prescribed a statin medication for you, taking the right dose, at the right time, and in the right way ensures that you get the most benefit from this and other medications. Doing this, along with following other lifestyle changes recommended by your doctor, can help prevent complications of heart disease such as heart attack and stroke.

    Why is it important to take your statin as directed?

    Statins can be very effective when taken as directed. Studies have shown that correct statin use can reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by approximately 20-25%, and death is reduced by 10%.1

    Here are some tips to help you take your medications correctly:

    • Know why you are taking the medications.
    • Keep your medications where you will notice them and set a daily routine to take them.
    • Use a pill organizer, calendar, or smartphone app to remind you to take your medications.
    • Talk with your doctor if would like to request a 90-day supply of your medications.

    Is cost a barrier to filling your statin medication?

    Talk with your doctor to see if switching to rosuvastatin may be an option for you.

    Rosuvastatin has a $0 copay for US Family Health Plan members. 

    It is very important that you let your doctor know if you are not taking your medications as directed. You may need to let them know if costs or side effects are a challenge, if you are having trouble remembering to take your medication, if you are having trouble getting refills at your pharmacy, or if you are unsure when is the best time to take your medications.

    We’re here for you!

    We want to make sure you have the information and support you need to take your medications correctly. Be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist about any concerns. Please note: It can take up to 14 days to receive your order from our Martin’s Point Mail-Order Pharmacy.


    1.Stone NJ, Robinson JG, Lichtenstein AH, et al. 2013 ACC/AHA guideline on the treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce atherosclerotic cardiovascular risk in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014;63:2889-934.

    Diabetes and You! 

    At Martin’s Point US Family Health Plan, we know that your health is important to you. One way to protect your health is to take advantage of your preventive care benefits and see your doctor each year for your Annual Physical Exam. At these visits, make sure to ask if you are up to date with all your recommended preventive screenings.

    People who have a history of high blood sugar, diabetes, or other similar conditions also need to have yearly blood and urine tests, as well as a dilated-eye exam.

    Be sure to complete these tests this year to optimize your health: 

    Name of Test Description
    A1C Blood Test A lab test that measures your average blood glucose, also called blood sugar, over the past two to three months.
    If your A1C value is 8 or higher, please talk to your doctor about ways to lower that number.
    Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) A blood test to measure your kidney’s blood filtering function. This is used to detect early kidney damage.
    Microalbumin Urine Test A urine test to check for elevated protein (albumin) in your urine, an indication of kidney damage.
    Urine Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio (ACR) Urine Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio (ACR) A urine test, taken from the same sample as microalbumin, to compare the levels of protein in your urine combined with kidney’s blood filtering ability. This is used to detect early kidney damage.
    Dilated-Eye Exam An eye exam that includes drops in your eyes. This widens the pupils and helps your eye doctor see signs of damage caused by high blood sugar.

    Also, please ask your doctor about statins. Statins are a drug that can help reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke by lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. 

    If you’re not currently taking a statin, ask your doctor if it would help you to take one.

    Mental Health & Our Kids

    Mental health disorders among children are described as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day. Among the most common mental disorders that can be diagnosed in childhood are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and behavior disorders.

    Early warning signs to look for include:

    • Persistent sadness — two or more weeks
    • Withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions
    • Hurting oneself or talking about hurting oneself
    • Talking about death or suicide
    • Outbursts or extreme irritability
    • Out-of-control behavior that can be harmful
    • Drastic changes in mood, behavior, or personality
    • Changes in eating habits
    • Loss of weight
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Frequent headaches or stomachaches
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Changes in academic performance
    • Avoiding or missing school

    Risk factors for self-harm and suicide may include:

    • Major life changing events: death of a loved one, a breakup or divorce, any trauma
    • Peer/ social media pressure
    • Performance in school
    • Family substance use and abuse
    • Mental health diagnosis or symptoms
    • Medical conditions that can be linked to depression or anxiety
    • History of suicide attempts

    Early diagnosis and connection to services for children and their families can make a difference. If you're concerned about your child's mental health, talk with your child's doctor. Describe the behaviors that concern you. Talk to your child's teacher, close friends, relatives, or other caregivers to see if they've noticed changes in your child's behavior. Share this information with your child's doctor.

    Common treatment options for children who have mental health conditions include:

    Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or behavior therapy, is a way to address mental health concerns by talking with a psychologist or other mental health professional. With young children, psychotherapy may include play time or games, as well as talk about what happens while playing. During psychotherapy, children and adolescents learn how to talk about thoughts and feelings, how to respond to them, and how to learn new behaviors and coping skills. Research suggests that adding cognitive-behavioral or family psychotherapy to medication treatment can improve functional outcomes.

    Medication. Your child's doctor or mental health professional may recommend a medication—such as a stimulant, antidepressant, anti-anxiety medication, antipsychotic or mood stabilizer—as part of the treatment plan. The doctor will explain risks, side effects and benefits of drug treatments.

    Call 211 for information on resources in your area
    National Alliance on Mental Illness
    SAMHSA National Help Line 1-800-662-4357
    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

    Martin’s Point offers telephonic care management at no cost to you that can connect you with resources and provide support and education. To speak with a Martin’s Point care manager, please call 1-877-659-2403 

    1 National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Data and Statistics on Children's Mental Health,

    Healthy Lifestyle, Children’s Health, Mayo Clinic, 1998-2022 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER),

    Prenatal Vitamins: Many Are Covered! 

    Taking prenatal vitamins is an important step you can take to promote your and your baby’s health during and after pregnancy. These vitamins are available by prescription and can help prevent certain kinds of birth defects (neural tube) in developing babies. The iron included in many prenatal vitamins also helps prevent anemia and decreases nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines recommend that all people who are planning to become or who could become pregnant take a daily supplement containing 0.4 to 0.8 mg of folic acid (Grade A recommendation).

    Several prescription prenatal multivitamins do not require prior authorization and are covered under the TRICARE® pharmacy benefit for a person who is pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Preferred prenatal vitamins include:

    • Prenatal Plus
    • Preplus
    • Prenatal
    • Prenatal Vitamins
    • Prenatal Multi plus DHA
    • Prenatal Vitamin plus Low Iron
    • Prenatal Plus DHA

    Non-preferred prenatal vitamins which would be covered with prior authorization include: Azesco, Zalvit, Trinaz, Neonatal-DHA, Neonatal FE, and Neonatal Complete.

    With a prescription from your provider, the preferred prenatal vitamins are covered at your Martin’s Point Mail-Order Pharmacy.

    Please check the TRICARE formulary search tool: for copay information.

    References: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PHARMACY AND THERAPEUTICS COMMITTEE 2017 & 2021 P&T Committee meeting minutes.


    Cervical Cancer: What You Need to Know

    What is cervical cancer? 
    Cervical cancer is cancer that starts when the cells that line the cervix (lower part of the uterus) begin to grow out of control. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for cervical cancer in the United States for 2022 are:

    • About 14,100 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed.
    • About 4,280 women will die from cervical cancer.

    For additional information visit:

    How can I lower my risk for cervical cancer?
    Lower the risk for cervical cancer by getting regular screenings, starting at age 21. Precancerous cells can be found and treated to prevent cancer from developing.

    How do I know if I have cervical cancer?
    Symptoms can vary from pelvic pain during sexual intercourse, irregular or heavy periods, tiredness, nausea, or weight loss.

    How does my doctor test for cervical cancer?
    Two screening tests help prevent cervical cancer or detect it early:

    • The Pap (Papanicolaou) test or smear looks for precancers, which are cell changes in the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately.
    • The human papillomavirus (HPV) test looks for the HPV virus cells that are most likely to cause cervical cancer.  

    Both tests can be done at the same time in a doctor’s office or clinic.  The provider collects cells from the cervix to be looked at closely in the lab to find cancer and precancer. 
    Individuals with a cervix should get their first Pap test/smear at age 21. If test results are normal, the next tests should be completed every 3 years.

    Individuals 30 years old or older with a cervix, have three options:
    • Continue getting a Pap test only. If normal, get the next Pap test in three years.
    • Get an HPV test only. If test result is normal, wait five years for the next test.
    • Get both an HPV and Pap test together. If test results are normal, wait five years for the next tests.
    If I have cervical cancer, how is it treated?
    Treatments include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

    Chlamydia: What You Need to Know

    What is chlamydia?
    Chlamydia is the most reported sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the US. It is caused by bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis, which can be passed during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. Infections can occur in the mouth, reproductive organs, urethra, and/or rectum. In women, the most common place for infection is the cervix (the opening of the uterus). 

    If left untreated, chlamydia can cause complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to long-term health problems and affect the ability to get pregnant. Chlamydia can lie dormant in the body for many years causing a low-grade infection without symptoms. It could flare up and cause an infection with symptoms if you have another illness. 

    What puts me at risk for chlamydia?
    The following factors increase the risk of contracting chlamydia:
    • Having a new or multiple sex partner(s). While the risk is higher with a new/multiple sex partner(s), due to the ability of the bacteria to lie dormant for many years, you could still be carrying the bacteria without having new/multiple partner(s).
    • Having a sex partner who has more than one sex partner
    • Having sex with someone who has a sexually transmitted infection
    • Having an STI now or in the past
    • Not using condoms consistently when not in a mutually monogamous relationship
    • Exchanging sex for money or drugs
    How do I know if I have chlamydia?
    Chlamydia usually does not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may appear from a few days to several weeks after infection. They may be very mild and can be mistaken for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. The most common symptoms in women include:
    • Yellow discharge from the vagina or urethra
    • Painful or frequent urination
    • Vaginal bleeding between periods
    • Rectal bleeding, discharge, or pain
    How does my doctor test for chlamydia?
    A chlamydia test can be done on a urine sample (noninvasive) or on samples taken with a swab from the vagina, mouth, throat, rectum, or the area around the cervix A yearly screening test is recommended for women 16 to 25 years old and for women 25 years or older who have one or more risk factors listed above. This routine preventive screening is painless and is a covered benefit.
    If I have chlamydia, how is it treated?
    Chlamydia is treated with oral antibiotics which should be taken as directed. Any past or current sex partners also need to be tested and treated. This includes anyone with whom sexual contact has occurred within the past 60 days or last sex partner. 

    Chlamydia can be passed to sex partners even during treatment. You should avoid sexual contact until you have finished treatment, and all sex partners should as well. A three-month follow-up test should be completed to make sure the infection has cleared up.

    Learn More at Our Women's Health Page!

    At Martin’s Point, we want to make sure you have the information you need to achieve your best health. Visit our Women’s Health page to learn about important topics, including free screenings and programs designed for you.

    An Ounce of Prevention Can Make All the Difference

    Making sure you get recommended preventive care is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your health. Download this handy checklist (PDF) to stay on top of these screenings and vaccines. You can also keep track of your medications to make sure you are taking them as directed. If you have any questions about your care or your medications, contact your PCP.